MOLALLA Baker is going to the big dance Friday at the Class 3A state volleyball championships.

The Bulldogs earned a berth in the final bracket Saturday by defeating Molalla 15-4, 2-15, 15-10 in the first round.

Baker opens play at Lane Community College at Eugene Friday at noon against Waldport. If the Bulldogs win that match they will play again at 8:30 p.m. Friday. If they lose to Waldport, Baker plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Against Molalla, Baker coach Michele McCauley said the Bulldogs front line made the difference.

I thought our front line played exceptionally well. They hit the ball well, McCauley said.

Jill Peacock led the way with 12 kills on 24-of-25 hitting. She added three solo blocks and four saves.

Kelly Bogart added 10 kills on 19-of-25 hitting, and was 19 for 20 serving.

Kari Staten chipped in five kills and two solo blocks, and was 8 for 8 passing.

And Shalene Christy, a JV player added to the roster when junior Rose Supan injured her knee this past week, also received praise from the Baker coach.

Shalene started for Rose and played very well despite the short notice. What a way to get your first varsity match, at the state playoffs, McCauley said.

With the match knotted at a game apiece, Baker needed to make something happen in the third game.

The Bulldogs fell behind in that game 4-0, then changed defensive strategy against Molallas best hitter.

They had a girl who could really pound the ball, McCauley said. And we just werent moving as well on defense as we have this season.

Then we started triple-blocking her, and it swung the momentum our way.

McCauley said the Bulldogs also hadnt served that well to that point in the match. But, she said, the serving picked up in the third game.

Cassie Scrivner was 9 for 9 serving and had 10 good digs in the third game, McCauley said.

Scrivner finished the match with 12 digs.

McCauley said serve receive also was solid for the Bulldogs, led by Tanya Denne who was 14 of 15, and Megan Curtis, 17 of 20.

McCauley said she knows little about Waldport, but isnt overly concerned with what that means.

I told the girls that you can know everything about an opponent, but unless you play your game it doesnt make a difference.