Lady Tigers win home Invitational

By Chris Baxter, The Observer October 01, 2012 03:30 pm

La Grande’s Denise Comfort had 39 kills, 20 digs and nine serving aces in the Lady Tigers’ home invite  Saturday. LHS lost only one game en route to the win. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
La Grande’s Denise Comfort had 39 kills, 20 digs and nine serving aces in the Lady Tigers’ home invite Saturday. LHS lost only one game en route to the win. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer

The La Grande volleyball team defended its home invitational title Saturday, defeating Nyssa 25-23, 25-20 in the championship match.

The Lady Tigers were dominant throughout the day, losing only one match in pool play.

LHS defeated Vale (25-16, Baker (25-15), Pendleton JV (25-7), Payette (25-13), Ontario (25-10) and Riverside (25-5) in pool play.

The only loss came to Nyssa 24-26, putting La Grande second in its pool.

In bracket play, LHS beat Riverside (25-6, 25-18) and Vale (25-12, 23-25, 15-7), setting up a rematch with Nyssa in the title game.

The Lady Tigers were able to get some sweep revenge, beating the Bulldogs 25-23, 25-20 for the championship.

“Overall it was a great team effort,” coach Melinda Becker said.

“All of my players contributed in a big way. 

“I’m happy with how well my team did.”

Madison Elliott had a big day for the Lady Tigers.

Elliott had 54 assists, 15 kills, three stuffed blocks and was 32 for 35 serving.

Kendall Kirkland had 24 assists, was 44 for 47 serving and finished with eight serving aces, while Denise Comfort had 39 kills, 20 digs and nine serving aces.

Olivia Trotter had 24 kills, 10 serving aces and was 19 for 22 on digs.

Lauren Mills finished with 20 kills, seven serving aces, six stuffed blocks and was 43 for 45 serving, while Breanna Partney had 19 kills and six stuffed blocks.

“It was a good weekend for those girls in the middle,” Becker said.

The coach also credited Hanna Cashell and Brandy Blackman for their play off the bench.

“I like our tournament format because you get a chance to play everyone. Nyssa and Vale were good competition for us. 

“Nyssa definitely challenged us. It was nice to compete with them.”

The La Grande junior varsity team also won its end of the tournament.

“It was a good day for La Grande volleyball,” Becker said. “

The Lady Tigers will travel to play McLoughlin Tuesday in Greater Oregon League play, then host Ontario Thursday for their annual Pink Night.