North Bend celebrates its victory over Marshfield in their rivalry volleyball match Tuesday.

North Bend’s volleyball team cleared another hurdle in its quest for a league title, winning its closest match of the season over Thurston in Springfield last Thursday and added a win over Willamette on Saturday to improve to 6-0 in Midwestern League play.

The Bulldogs, who are up to No. 2 in the Class 5A coaches poll, lost the first and third games at Thurston, but rallied to win the match, 22-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-16, 16-14.

“I told the girls we needed that game and that it was those types of games that make champions,” North Bend coach Summer Sawyer said. “The way they persevered and fought all night was truly amazing and I was so proud that they pulled out the win.”

The Bulldogs were missing three players for the match, but came through. Sawyer said after the Colts won the third game, she left them a simple message.

“I told the girls, okay, gut check time — how bad do you want it?” she recalled. “They came out fierce again and took the set.”

North Bend trailed 6-0 early in the deciding fifth set, but rallied to take the lead. The set was tied at 14 when Thurston put a serve in the net and Adrianna Frank had an ace to clinch the match for the Bulldogs.

Bridget Gould had 13 kills and Mya Massey 12 for the Bulldogs in the win. Frank and Bria Hood combined for 15 more kills. Setter Olivia Knutson had 39 assists and 19 digs, while Sydney Wilson had 17 digs and three aces and Frank had 13 digs.

The match with Thurston was North Bend’s first to go more than three sets, and they earned another sweep Saturday when they beat the visiting Wolverines 25-14, 25-19, 25-4.

Gould had 10 kills and four aces, Massey had nine kills and two blocks, Wilson had six aces and Knutson had 26 assists and four aces in that win.

North Bend entered the week 6-0 in league play. Churchill was 6-1, its only loss coming to the Bulldogs, while Thurston and North Eugene both were 3-2. North Bend hosted North Eugene Monday (results were not available by press time).


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