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EUGENE — Going up against some of the toughest 3A teams in Oregon, the La Grande volleyball girls finished second Saturday at the Marist Volleyball Tournament.

In the tournament, the Tigers, ranked No. 3 in the state, beat the No. 2-ranked team, North Bend, and went 5-1 overall in the tournament to push their record to 32-3. The Tigers were beaten by host Marist, ranked No. 6, in the championship match 25-16, 22-25, 9-15.

"We played with a lot of confidence," said coach Teresa Dowdy. "It was a very competitive tournament." She said La Grande dominated most of its matches.

In the title match, Dowdy thought the Tigers might have won the first game in the Marist match too easily.

"After we won that first game, we backed off in the second game," she said. Dowdy said she talked to her players afterward about the importance of putting teams away.

Dowdy said Kaci Lyman "had an incredible day." Lyman hit 82-for-88 on the day with 56 kills.

In pool play, La Grande beat Stayton 25-12, 25-20, Marist junior varsity 25-10, 25-9, and Astoria 25-12, 25-12. The Tigers beat Seaside (unofficially ranked No. 12 in the state) in the quarterfinal 25-18, 25-16 and beat North Bend in the semifinal 25-18, 25-18.

Caylin Goss hit 74-for-78 with 33 kills and Kathryn Ely hit 75-for-92 with 43 kills. Amanda Timm had 119 assists, while Morgan Bonney came off the bench to hit 28-for-30 with seven kills and 10 blocks.

Ely had 28 digs, while Stephanie Keith had 22 and Katelin Weaver 20. Timm served 56-for-59 with eight aces, while Weaver served 62-for-66 with 10 aces. Keith served 48-for-49.

La Grande has been on the road for a while, but gets to play its next three matches at home, and possibly four. The Tigers host Riverside Thursday (though the time is listed as 7 p.m., Dowdy said it will probably start between 6 and 6:30 p.m.), then will host Vale at 1 p.m. Saturday and Ontario at 7 p.m. Saturday.

La Grande needs to win at least two, and possibly all three, of these matches to stay ahead of third-place Baker. The Tigers still have a shot at sharing the Greater Oregon League title, but they need Vale to upset Burns on the road Thursday. If La Grande ends up in second place in the GOL, which is the likeliest scenario, the Tigers will host a playoff game Nov. 1.

Dowdy said she learned at the Marist Tournament that La Grande's opponent for that playoff match probably will be either Stayton or Molalla.

— Pierre LaBossire

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