Powder Valley’s Ali Abrego had a match-high 25 kills in the Lady Badgers’ 3-1 victory over Imbler on Friday in an Old Oregon League showdown. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
IMBLER — Second-ranked Powder Valley picked up another four-game victory over sixth-ranked Imbler Friday.
The Lady Badgers won 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 28-26.
It was the second time in a little more than a week that the Lady Badgers beat Imbler in four games.
“We’ve had a hard time playing in the Imbler gym in the past,” Powder coach Lasa Baxter said.
“I’m just very proud of the hard work from my girls.”
Just like the first time the two teams met, every game was a back-and-forth tilt.
The opening set saw 12 ties before Powder Valley took a 12-10 lead to get a little separation.
The Lady Badgers stretched the lead to 17-12 before Imbler fought its way back into it and tied it at 18-18.
The teams traded blows from there until they were tied up again at 21-21.
But it was the Lady Badgers who scored the final four points to take a one-set advantage.
“Momentum-wise that first game was important,” Baxter said.
Game 2 was another tight contest that had five ties early on.
But once again, it was Powder who was able to separate itself in the middle of the game, taking a 22-16 lead behind the serving of Jenna Aldrich.
Imbler put together a late push, cutting it to 24-23 before a hard kill by Jessica Pedro ended it.
It appeared that Powder Valley had the momentum after that, but the Lady Panthers played like a team desperate for a win in Game 3.
Imbler took an early 13-5 lead. PHS got within four at 16-12, but that was as close as it would get as IHS got back in the match.
“We played much more competitively this time,” Imbler coach Jennifer Teeter said.
“We battled every game.”
In the fourth set was one of the most thrilling games of the season for the fans.
The game saw 13 ties, the latest coming at 26-26.
But again it was Powder Valley who had the last laugh, scoring the match’s final two points to pull out the win and remain unbeaten in Old Oregon League play.
“Credit Imbler’s serve-receive. They made some adjustments from the last game,” Baxter said.
“We were expecting a tough match, but we were confident we could come out on top.”
Ali Abrego had 25 kills for the match, along with 19 assists.
“She had a goal to have more than 20 kills, so it’s nice she accomplished that,” Baxter said.
Pedro had 23 kills, and Alexandra Colton had 31 assists.
McKinsey Hampton had four kills and three blocks.
Malia Mills finished with 14 kills and 13 digs for Imbler, and Danika McIntosh had 13 digs and eight kills.
Jacey Teeter added 19 assists, while Rikki Griffin was 100 percent serving.
Powder Valley is 12-2 overall and 5-0 in the Old Oregon League.
Imbler drops to 13-3 and 3-2 in the OOL. Cove is second at 3-1.
Imbler travels to play Wallowa Friday, while Powder Valley will play at Union in a non-league game on Thursday.