BADGERS GAIN SLIGHT EDGE
By C.J. Gish
Observer Staff Writer
NORTH POWDER The difference between Powder Valley and Coves volleyball teams is as miniscule as Saturdays margin of victory.
The top two teams in the Old Oregon League battled to the wire, with hosting Powder Valley coming out on top, 15-13, 16-14.
The win evened both teams league record at 9-1. Cove beat Powder Valley in the division-opening match of the season.
A post-match coin flip gave Powder Valley (16-2 overall, 9-1 league) the top seed for Saturdays District 4-1A Tournament. Cove (21-2, 9-1) will go as the second seed. Cove beat Jordan Valley, 15-9, 15-0 in Fridays league contest.
It was awesome, Powder Valley senior Cali Taylor said. We were more intense this time (than the first match of the season). We pulled together as a team.
Both games were as close as the score indicates. In the first game, Powder Valley jumped to a 12-6 lead behind a Joelle Bain ace serve, a Taylor kill and an Amie Russell block.
Cove, though, came back to tie the game 13-all. Melissa Smith served one ace, Kathy Mann smacked down a kill and Powder Valley gave up points on two hits out of bounds and an in-the-net call.
The Badgers final two points came when Coves Kelcie Robinson hit a ball out of bounds and Taylor hit a kill for the game-winner.
The second game featured five ties and six lead changes with Cove going ahead 14-11.
An Amanda Bingham tip gave Powder the ball back, and Bain served the final five points. The final three points came on a Bain ace serve and back-to-back Cove in-the-net calls.
(Cove) had the momentum at the beginning of the year. Now its our turn, Bingham said. Its a good time for us to be on top.
Powder handed Cove its first loss of the season last week at the Wallowa Four-way Tournament. The Leopards started the season winning their first 20 matches.
Bain led Powder with seven kills and 13-of-15 serving with three aces. Taylor had seven kills, Ashley Wisdom had nine assists, Lacey Kasper went 10-for-10 serving and Amie Russell had five blocks. Jayme Simonis added five kills and four blocks.
For Cove, Robinson had six kills and four blocks. Lisa Scheele had four kills and Mann added three blocks.
Powder Valley will play the fourth-place team out of the Trico League, and Cove will play the Tricos third-place team next Saturday at the district tournament.
Wallowa wins Wapiti for first time in 28 years
WALLOWA Terri Wilson had to search the trophy case awhile last week before she found the last first-place Wapiti League trophy.
There were plenty of seconds, but no first in the Wapiti since 1973, said Wilson, Wallowas coach since 1981. The Cougars won the Class 1A state title in 1997 and won three straight Old Oregon League titles from 1995-97.
Wallowa, which moved from Class 1A in 1998 to the 2A ranks for the first time since 1989, captured the division crown Saturday by beating Enterprise, 16-14, 15-13, and Imbler, 15-8, 15-3.
Its pretty exciting, Wilson said. It wasnt until last week in practice when we started thinking there was a possibility we could win all of our games this weekend.
Wallowa (22-8, 12-2), which beat second-place Union Friday, knocked off the three teams right behind it in the standings to win the league.
Against Imbler, Amanda Wilson was 18-for-18 hitting with eight kills. Lynique Oveson was 11-for-13 in digs.
Wilson added 14-for-19 hitting with seven kills against Enterprise. Laura Lewis went 13-for-14 passing, Tina Stitzel was 25-of-31 hitting with six kills and Oveson added 11-of-11 passing.
Enterprises Ashley Anderson had 22 digs and 15 kills against Wallowa.
We had 49 digs (against Wallowa), which is pretty good since defense has been our weakness most of the year, Enterprise coach Lisa Farwell said.
Enterprise (18-4, 11-3) beat Pine-Eagle, 15-1, 15-3.
Imbler (10-15, 6-8) beat Pine-Eagle, 15-11, 13-15, 15-12, to force a tie with Joseph for the fourth and final playoff berth. The two will have a playoff match at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wallowa.
Against Pine-Eagle, Imblers Tiffany Rasmussen had nine kills and Stacey McKinnis added six.
Wallowa will play the winner of the Imbler/Joseph match at the Wapiti District Tournament in Elgin Saturday. The Cougars automatically advance to state since they won the division.
Enterprise will play Union in its first match at district.
Union completes sweep
UNION One night after slipping from first to second place in the Wapiti League, Union rebounded and completed a season-ending division sweep here Saturday.
The Bobcats (18-5, 11-3) beat Joseph, 15-8, 15-1, and Elgin, 15-5, 15-13.
Against Joseph, Sarah Bomberger went 13-for-15 hitting with six kills. Jana Brotherton was 10-for-10 serving and 14-for-15 hitting with five kills. Shonda Titus added 13-for-13 hitting with three kills, Melissa Helmer had 10 assists and Kallin Prince was 11-for-12 serving with two aces.
Prince had 11-for-12 hits for eight kills against Elgin and added 14-for-14 from the serve line. Colbi Robertson was 11-for-12 hitting with four kills. Helmer was 18-for-18 serving with six aces and had 12 assists, and Brotherton had five blocks.
Joseph (8-13, 6-8) forced a tie with Imbler for fourth place by beating Nyssa, 15-2, 15-10.
Josephs Lea Ganos had eight blocks and seven kills against Nyssa. Jessie Botham had four kills. Anna Yost served 10 points and two aces.
Elgin (8-14, 4-10) finished its season by beating Nyssa, 15-6, 15-7.
It was a nice way to finish the season, Elgin coach LeeAnn Case said. They all played pretty well.
Tigers play GU close
UNION La Grande finished its season Saturday by playing one of its best matches of the year.
The Tigers took Grant Union to three games when it traveled to John Day. The result was a close 14-16, 15-12, 15-9 loss to the hosting Prospectors.
(Grant Union) had a little momentum to get past us at the end, La Grande coach Teresa Dowdy said.
La Grande (8-20, 4-10) concluded its day at Burns, falling 15-3, 15-9.
Against Grant Union, Kaci Lyman was 17-of-19 hitting with 10 kills and Kelli Greenough went 20-for-24 hitting with five kills and five blocks.
Dowdy credited the defensive and serving performances turned in by Shanda Reddington and Katelin Weaver.
They had some great digs, Dowdy said.
Reddington went 10-for-10 serving with two aces and Weaver was 15-for-15 serving with two aces.
Against Burns, Lyman was 7-for-7 serving and Lyman was 12-for-14 hitting with five kills.