November 11, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

MONMOUTH The OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 1A State Volleyball Championships boiled down to the top teams in the Old Oregon League Saturday.

Cove topped Powder Valley for its first volleyball title, 17-15, 15-3. A week ago, following the District 4-1A tournament, both coaches told each other they would meet in this situation.

I was excited that we could play each other, Cove coach Kim Tally said. I knew what we had to do win. It was kind of like deja vu.

My hat goes off to both teams, especially my girls. They played their hearts out. They did their best, and what they did was the best in state.

The Leopards (28-2) entered the title match by beating defending-champion Elkton, 15-6, 9-15, 15-6. Coves only two losses of the season came when it split four matches against Powder Valley.

For the tournament, Cove had 98 percent setting, 93 percent serving, 92 percent passing and 89 percent hitting.

Junior Kelcie Robinson, a first-team all-tournament selection, led Cove 76-of-83 hits for 31 kills and added 26-of-29 passing, 24-of-25 blocking and 39-of-40 serves with seven aces.

Another first-team all-tournament selection junior Melissa Smith anchored the back row with 40-of-43 passing and 38-of-44 hitting.

Junior Lisa Scheele, named second-team all-tournament, went 45-of-45 setting, 67-of-75 hitting with 15 kills and 22-of-24 passing.

Junior Amy Puckett was 47-of-49 passing and 36-of-38 serving.

Powder Valley (20-4) beat Dufur, 15-5, 15-6, in the earlier Saturday semifinals match.

Second place is pretty darn good. Last year was Powders best finish ever at fifth, Powder Valley coach Jane Wisdom said. I was very pleased with the way it turned out.

Seniors Amanda Bingham and Cali Taylor were named first-team all-tournament.

Against Cove, Bingham had five kills, Joelle Bain had three kills and Ashley Wisdom, who didnt miss a serve the entire tournament, served 6-for-6.

Taylor and Jayme Simonis had seven kills and five blocks apiece against Dufur. Wisdom added 11-for-11 serving and Amie Russell had six blocks.

Powder was led by Binghams nine kills in its Friday win over Days Creek, a team that entered the tournament undefeated and ranked first in the state. Bain had seven kills, Taylor and Simonis added five kills and Wisdom was 10-for-10 serving.