The Bobcats’ Maddie Martens plays defense during a match against Weston-McEwen Tuesday. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
UNION — Things looked good early on for the Union volleyball team against visiting Weston-McEwen Tuesday night in a non-league contest.
But after dropping a thrilling opening set, the Lady Cats ended up getting swept 28-26, 25-20, 25-18.
“That was some of the best volleyball I’ve watched in years — on both sides,” Union head coach Mendy Clark said.
Union jumped on the TigerScots early in the first set. The Lady Cats led 3-0 before Weston-McEwen scored. After that, the teams traded blows the rest of the set.
Union held a 24-22 lead but the TigerScots rallied to tie it at 24-all. Weston-McEwen eventually pulled out a 28-26 win after the set saw 11 ties.
“No way was that discouraging,” Clark said of the opening-set loss. “I couldn’t have been more happy. So we came up two points short. Both teams were aggressive and playing excellent defense.”
Weston-McEwen seemed to have the momentum after the first set. The TigerScots took a 7-1 lead out of the gates in the second set and eventually stretched the lead to 10-2.
Union got as close as two points at 20-18 but Weston-McEwen had enough firepower to close it out.
The third set was similar to the second.
The TigerScots took a 9-1 lead before Union clawed its way back to within two at 16-14. But Weston-McEwen scored nine of the next 13 points to earn the match victory.
“We just made some mental errors,” Clark said. “That’s what we still need to work on. We have some awfully young kids.”
The Lady Cats had 22 kills in the match, led by Viki McCabe’s 12. McCabe added 10 digs and 10 stuffed blocks.
Keesha Sarman had nine kills. Union missed eight serves but had five serving aces.
“Coming in, we knew (Weston-McEwen) didn’t lose a single girl but their libero last year,” Clark said. “So we knew they they were going to be one of the toughest teams in the (Blue Mountain Conference) this year.”
The Lady Cats play at Powder Valley Friday in a non-league contest. Union opens conference play Saturday against Heppner and Enterprise.
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