Badgers chew up Eagles, 3-0
By Mike Weber
For The Observer
REDMOND — Two of three undefeated teams (in Class 1A) in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Volleyball State Tournament — the Powder Valley Badgers and the Yoncalla Eagles — met in a quarterfinal matchup with both seeking to continue their magical season and move to the semifinals.
The three-time Old Oregon League champions and No. 1 ranked Lady Badgers (22-2), guided by seventh-year coach Lasa Baxter, took one big step toward possibly advancing to a third consecutive Class 1A volleyball championship game with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-15 victory over the Eagles (18-3) Monday morning at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
Powder Valley advanced to tonight’s 6:30 semifinal contest against the St. Paul Buckaroos (21-10). St. Paul won 3-1 over the Lowell Devils (16-4) in the other 8 a.m. quarterfinal match.
“We’re very excited about being here and I’m glad we’re moving onto the semifinals,” said Baxter, who guided PV to its 19th straight win. “The girls did a great job today in playing at a new tournament site this year. We made some serving adjustments, because the ball seemed to be floating a little more since we’re in a higher elevation in Redmond.”
PV jumped in front in Game 1, quickly building a double-digit lead at 20-10, led by the strong offensive play at the net by seniors Jessica Pedro and Ali Abrego, who lifted the Badgers to the 25-16 win.
PV’s momentum continued in the second game as junior setter Alexandra Colton served four straight service points to help the Badgers again jumped in front early at 16-5. Abrego’s kill gave PV game point at 24-14 and the Badgers won 25-17 on an Eagle hitting error. Game 3 was nearly the same as PV jumped ahead early while building a 19-11 lead. Kills by Pedro and junior Alyssa Aldrich helped PV remain in control at 23-15. PV won the match for the 3-0 sweep when the Eagles committed back-to-back hitting errors in the Badgers 25-15 win.
If the Badgers win tonight, they’ll play in Saturday’s 6 p.m. finals.