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Imblerís Emma Bowers had seven kills in the Lady Panthersí sweep of Cove Friday. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
COVE — With sweeps over Cove and Joseph this weekend, the Imbler High School volleyball team wrapped up second place in the Old Oregon League standings with the district tournament set for this Saturday.
The Lady Panthers finished the regular season 18-3 overall and 8-2 in the OOL, with their only league losses coming to undefeated Powder Valley (18-2, 10-0), who clinched the regular season title.
The district tournament will be held in La Grande Saturday.
Imbler looked like it’s peaking at just the right time after this weekend.
Against the Leopards Friday, the Lady Panthers won 25-14, 25-13 and 25-18.
In Game 1 Imbler jumped out to an 8-3 lead before going up 10 points at 18-8 and then 20-10, forcing Cove to take its second timeout of the set.
The Leopards scored a couple of late points to extend the game, but a Malia Mills stuffed block ended it and gave the Lady Panthers an early lead.
Game 2 was similar, with Cove hanging around early before Imbler went on a run to go up 18-8 and eventually taking the set.
In the third set the Leopards hung tough until midway through.
With the score at 12-9 in favor of Imbler, the Lady Panthers went on an 8-3 run to go up 20-12.
Cove fought back and cut it to 20-15, but IHS scored five of the final eight points to take the set and the match.
“We knew coming to Cove would be tough,” coach Jennifer Teeter said.
“We played consistent and didn’t get rattled.”
Danika McIntosh was 21 for 22 hitting with 10 kills, while Emma Bowers was 13 for 16 with seven kills.
Malia Mills had 10 kills and eight digs, and Maddy Lease was 12 for 12 serving and had 12 digs.
Rikki Griffin added four serving aces while going 19 for 20 at the service line.
Friday was also Cove’s Pink Night, and all proceeds from the match go to the Fight Aimee Fight foundation to help out Aimee VanNice, a former Cove player who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Imbler sweeps Joseph
JOSEPH — Saturday against Joseph Imbler cruised to another easy victory, this one to put the finishing touches on the regular season.
The Lady Panthers won 25-15, 25-11, 25-10 for their fifth straight match victory.
With second place, Imbler will get a first-round bye in the district tournament, along with Powder Valley.
All eight OOL wins for Imbler this season came by way of sweep, and its only losses for the year came to the two teams that are ranked No. 1 (Dufur) and No. 2 (Powder Valley) by the OSAA right now.
Last season the Badgers knocked off Imbler in the district championship match, 3-2.