TIGER SPIKERS FIGHT FOR PLAYOFF POSITION
With both Baker and Burns red-hot, the La Grande volleyball girls almost have to win out the rest of the regular season.
The Tigers took care of business Thursday, beating an outmatched Riverside club 25-7, 25-14, 25-8.
Coach Teresa Dowdy said the Tigers did an "incredible job" hitting. Kaci Lyman in particular was almost unstoppable. She had 10 kills on 15-for-16 hitting.
She also said the Tigers did a good job serving aggressively.
La Grande is 8-2 in the Greater Oregon League (33-3 overall). Burns is 9-1 and Baker is 7-3.
Burns closes out the season by playing Mac-Hi and Riverside, the two teams at the bottom of the standings. The Hilanders are virtually assured of the GOL title.
Baker and La Grande both close out the season Saturday hosting Vale and Ontario. The Tigers expect they will have to sweep Saturday to stay in second place, so they can host a playoff match Nov. 1.
The Tigers seemed to have fully recovered from a rough week earlier this month in which they lost consecutive league matches to Baker and Burns. That snapped a 24-game winning streak.
Setter Amanda Timm said the Tigers have been practicing harder since those two losses. Timm said the La Grande girls learned not to take victory for granted.
"You can't give up easy points. You can't expect you're going to win," said Timm. "We're focusing on one game at a time and playing with heart and passion as a team."
In addition to Lyman's hitting, Kathryn Ely hit 10-for-11, while Caylin Goss hit 16-for-17 with four kills.
Katelin Weaver served 16-for-16 with three aces, while Breezy Fredricksen served 15-for-15 and Stephanie Keith served 10-for-11.
La Grande plays Vale at 1 p.m. and Ontario at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Greater Oregon League
x-La Grande 8-2
x qualified for state playoffs
La Grande def. Riverside 3-0
Burns def. Vale 3-0
Baker def. Mac-Hi 3-0