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Tigers see season end at hands of Scappoose


La Grande's Kelsey Brown, center, makes a play on the ball during the third set of Monday night's Class 4A state play-in game against Scappoose. The Tigers fell in four sets to see their season end. (Ronald Bond, The Observer)

A year ago, Scappoose came to La Grande and picked up a victory in a Class 4A state play-in game.

Monday night, the Indians duplicated the effort.

Despite 16 kills from Claire Hardy and a strong back row effort anchored by Liz Cashell’s 30 digs, the Tigers saw their season end in four sets, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23 at La Grande High School.

Alyssa McDowell added six kills and 19 digs for the Tigers, and Kelsey Brown had five kills and three blocks. Kenzie Williams tallied 20 assists and 12 digs. Haley Hatley added 12 assists.

The Tigers also had a strong effort from the service line with 17 aces, including six from Cashell and four by Hatley.

It wasn’t enough, however, to overcome Scappoose in a matchup of even teams that both featured scrappy defenses and that jostled back and forth throughout the night. Hannah Galey had 15 kills to lead the Indians, Shaylan Smith added 11 and Kamryn Erickson had six kills and three blocks.

The Tigers took their first lead of the opening set, 14-13, after a Scappoose error, but then fell behind, 20-16, when Smith’s kill capped a 7-2 run. La Grande rattled off five points in a row for a 21-20 lead on a Jayce Seavert ace, and the teams battled to 23-all before Scappoose took the final two points on a kill by Smith and a block by Galey.

The second set was all La Grande early. All six of Cashell’s aces came in the set, five during a 10-0 run that gave the Tigers an 11-3 lead. The Indians clawed to within 18-17 on a Galey kill, but Hardy’s block started a set-ending 7-1 run. Cashell’s sixth ace came during the rally for a 21-17 lead, and Hardy and Brown teamed up for a block moments later to cap the set.

A kill by McDowell midway through the third set gave the Tigers a 14-10 lead after they trailed by four early. But Smith gave the Indians the lead for good, 19-18, with a kill during a 7-2 run to end the set.

Scappoose went for the kill in the fourth, and dominated the set early. Charlotte Feige’s ace gave the Indians a 10-4 lead, and it reached as much as 21-10 on a kill by Erickson.

But the Tigers found life and slowly chipped away at the deficit. Hardy had three kills during a five-point span that pulled the Tigers to within seven, and back-to-back Hatley aces made it 23-18. The Indians followed with three straight errors before Brown’s kill pulled the Tigers within 23-22. The teams traded points, with another kill by Hardy keeping the Tigers alive before Smith finished the match with a final kill.

The loss ends the Tigers’ season at 10-10 overall.

See more in the Oct. 25 edition of The Observer.