The Century Jaguars Volleyball team looked to have made the Pacific Conference title theirs to lose, after beating the Tigard Tigers in 3-straight sets Tuesday evening on their home court to move to 9-0 in conference play.
The Jaguars fell behind the Tigers to start every match but showed why they are the class of the Pacific League when they managed to pull ahead to steal the lead from the Tigers on every occasion to obtain the flawless victory.
Tigard had one valiant attempt to topple Century in the first set when they engaged in a back and forth attack that stretched the first match to 27-27. However, the Jaguars asserted their dominance to score the last 2-points of the first set and took the victory 29-27.
“They weren’t as focused as they would have liked at the beginning of the game” Century head coach Jamie Lentz said “but they came together and made the adjustments they needed to.”
Tigard once again looked full of life to start the second set with a 6-0 lead over Century but soon fell prey to a Jaguar run the Tigers couldn’t stop. Just moments after Tigard had held a 6-point lead, the Tigers were once again backpedaling all the way to a 25-21 Jaguar victory in the second set.
By the final set Tigard had once again tried to rally after jumping out to another early 5-2 lead but it didn’t take Century long to extinguish any hope of maintaining any sort of lead.
“We were trying to be as intense and positive as possible,” senior middle blocker Raquel Mellick stated about her team play “so we could work together as one and be a complete team.”
After Century secured the lead at 14-13 the Jaguars were looking in the rearview mirror and by the time they heralded 21-16 lead the “blackout” fan base was chanting, “it’s all over!”
Indeed it was all over, as the Jaguars scored 4-of the final 6-points for an impressive 25-18 victory to secure the final set.
“We have to play as a team” jaguar outside hitter senior Jordan Deming said, “your skills can only get you so far but it still comes down to playing as a team.”
The Jaguars win was fueled by an all around team effort that has paved the road to a 14-4 record this season.
Junior Shian Labay Young led the way serving for the Jaguars ending the night with 3-aces, while sophomore setter Kyla Militante-Amper racked up 29-assists setting up senior outside hitter Jordan Deming for her 17-kills.
For the Jaguars defense it was senior middle blocker Raquel Mellick that made attacking at the net nearly impossible for the Tigers after racking up 6-blocks in only the 3-sets.
With only 5-league matches left on the schedule the Jaguars are in control of their destiny holding a 2-match lead over Tigard for the league title but Century is not looking past any of their remaining opponents.
Despite that, they are looking to make a deeper run in this years playoffs after falling in 5-sets in the second round of last years state tournament to Sprague.
If they can maintain their “team first” mantra, than they may pose to be more of a threat then most of the states volleyball squads can handle.
Story by – Jesse James nwpreps.net
Photos by – Jesse James nwpreps.net