Bobcats bring out the brooms in home opener
UNION — The Union High School volleyball team picked up its first non-league victory of the season with a 3-0 sweep over visiting Wallowa Thursday night.
The Lady Cats won 25-9, 25-10 and 25-13.
“I was very pleased tonight,” Union head coach Mendy Clark said. “I was a little bit surprised. Our practice this week hasn’t been as stellar as we would have liked. We were a little bit low energy.”
The Lady Cats were anything but low energy against the Cougars.
Union raced out to a 9-2 start in the opening set, forcing Wallowa to take a timeout. Not that that slowed down the Lady Cats at all.
Union scored 13 of the next 19 points in the set to increase its lead to 22-8. Wallowa only scored one more point in the set and UHS took a 1-0 advantage.
“Our goal for the week was to convert plays into points,” Clark said. “We were returning balls (last week) but we weren’t scoring. I think tonight (the girls) found better ways to score points.”
Wallowa struck first in the second set but the lead didn’t last long. Union responded with six straight points to go up 6-1 and eventually stretched the lead to 10 points at 14-4.
Wallowa didn’t get within 10 points the rest of the set and the Lady Cats took a two-set lead.
The third game was a little closer, with Wallowa staying within single digits for the whole set until Union scored six straight points at the end to close out the match with the sweep.
“We worked really hard (on defense),” Clark said. “I’ve brought in other people to help me coach defense because I am not a taskmaster by nature.
“I correct you once and I want to correct the next person. But the more eyes you have on the ball and the more corrections you make in practice, then when you get into the game your body knows how to do it.”
Madeline Martens was 12-for-12 serving with two blocks. Keesha Sarman was 11-for-11 serving with 12 digs and three serving aces. Viki McCabe was 17-for-21 hitting with 12 kills. The Lady Cats only missed five serves for the match.
Union will be back in action Saturday at a tournament in Burns.
Elgin falls to Umatilla
ELGIN — The Elgin volleyball team lost to Umatilla in non-league play Thursday night. The Lady Huskies lost 25-12, 25-15 and 25-23.
“If we had a couple more games we were starting to build momentum there toward the end,” Elgin head coach Carmen Gentry said. “We were getting the train started.”
Gentry said the team needs to continue to work on certain things in practice in order to get where she wants them to be.
“Each person did things well,” Gentry said. “But each game we need to build — it’s kind of like building Legos — we need to build to get to where we want to be.”
The Lady Huskies will compete at the Riverside Tournament Saturday. Umatilla, Irrigon and Helix will be in Elgin’s pool to start out.
“That will be a good opportunity for us to try new things,” Gentry said.