The Union Bobcats are headed to the 2A state tournament.
Union swept Gaston in its first-round home playoff match Saturday, 25-14, 25-18, 25-12, to secure its first berth to the state tourney since 2014.
“Every year that’s a goal, but from game one this year our goal has been to win the next game. And winning the next game at this point got us into the tournament,” head coach Karly Knapp said. “It’s pretty exciting for these girls to be top of the district and now headed to the state tournament. That’s a big goal.”
The Bobcats controlled the match with their serving, tallying 16 aces against a team in Gaston that Knapp said struggled with passing.
“We really worked on reiterating the fact that serving is important. Serving is huge for us. Getting our serves in and over the net and ideally placed was a huge goal,” Knapp said. “They accomplished that.”
Brianna Kohr led Union with seven aces, including, perhaps fittingly, an ace to end the match. She also had 15 digs. Callie Glenn had five aces to go with 27 assists, and Autumn Daggett had the other four aces and pitched in with 11 kills and seven digs. Kylie Marriott led Union with 13 kills.
Union (22-3 overall) has its highest win total since the 2014 team, which placed sixth at state and finished with a record of 22-8.
The Bobcats will square off against Vernonia, the No. 2 team from the Northwest League, in a quarterfinal matchup Friday evening at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
“Going in it’s mainly focus on our side of the court. That is our biggest goal right now,” Knapp said of planning for state.
Badgers bury Jordan Valley to make state return
The top-ranked Powder Valley Badgers are headed to the 1A state tournament for a second-year in a row and for the third time in five years.
The Badgers swept their second-round home match Saturday against Jordan Valley to reach the tournament, 25-13, 25-10, 25-18.
“They had really great energy. They went out and took care of business and executed,” head coach Marji Lind said of her team. “(We’re) super excited to get back to the state tournament.”
Powder Valley, which enters the state tournament with a 1A-best record of 32-1, will meet Damascus Christian in the quarterfinals Friday morning at Ridgeview High School in Redmond. The teams met earlier this season at the East-West Volleyball Classic in North Powder, with the Badgers winning two out of three sets.
“That was early in the season, so I’m sure they have gotten stronger like we have,” Lind said. “It’s going to be a tough match for sure, but as long as we take care of the simple things the girls should come out where they need to.”
Damascus Christian went undefeated in the Valley 10 League before losing in the district tournament final to reach state as the No. 2 seed.
Days Creek tops Eagles
The Joseph Eagles saw their hopes for a third straight berth in the Class 1A state tournament end on the road Saturday with a straight-set loss to Days Creek in the second round of the playoffs, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20.
“I was proud of the girls for never giving up and continuing to work as a team,” head coach Jill Hite said.
Sabrina Albee led Joseph with five kills and eight blocks. Molly Curry added five kills and three blocks.
The loss ends Joseph’s season at 17-14.
Cougars fall in second round
The Wallowa Cougars fell short in their bid to make it to the 1A state tournament, suffering a sweep at St. Paul in the second round of the playoffs Saturday, 25-12, 25-16, 25-9.
The loss brings an end to the Cougars’ season with a final record of 22-9.