Grizzlies suffer heartbreaking home loss

Sam Owirka had a big game at net and defensively to help South Medford rally for a 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-23, 15-13 victory over Ashland in nonconference volleyball at Mountain Avenue Gym Thursday.

The Panthers (3-3, 2-2 SOH) led most of the decisive fifth game. Miranda Marincus registered three straight kills to give South a 14-12 lead, then Ashland hitting mistake to end the match.

"We played with heart tonight," South Medford coach Sarah Costa said.

Owirka, a senior outside hitter, registered a team-high 18 kills and 28 digs to go with two aces, while Marincus added 12 kills, 20 digs and three aces.

The Panthers also received nine kills each from middle Bree Polk and Sam Martin. Setter Chandler Criswell distributed 50 assists and libero Emily Cutting had 26 digs.

"Individually we have the skills and depth," said Costa. "We just have to find the right combination and we did that tonight."

For Ashland (2-3), middle Joy Harpham and Piper Cantrell, an outside and libero, each had nine kills. Cantrell added 34 digs and three aces. Cassandra Hall provided 36 assists and 11 digs for the Grizzlies.

"South was persistent," said Ashland coach Robin Akpan. "We're trying how to finish a match."

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