LA GRANDE — The Tigers captured a resounding win, defeating McLoughlin in three straight sets on Sept. 14. La Grande snapped a two-game losing streak to get back up over .500 on the year. The Tigers now stand at 3-2 on the season and are 1-0 in Greater Oregon League play. The Pioneers dropped to 1-2 on the season.
La Grande set the tone early, dominating in the first set and winning 25-9. According to McLoughlin head coach Lucy Deal, her players were enthusiastic to hit the floor against a difficult opponent in La Grande.
“The girls were so excited that I think the overall excitement level led them to losing focus a bit early on,” Deal said.
McLoughlin battled in the next two sets, but La Grande ultimately pulled away to win 25-15 and 25-14. In the second set, the Pioneers held an early lead that ultimately withered away to the Tigers.
La Grande junior Makenna Shorts led the Tigers with 30 assists and a 100% serving rate with one ace. Senior Izzy Kump tallied 24 assists, 11 kills and seven aces, while both Carlee Jensen and Belle Neer were 100% sreving with two aces each.
“I’m super proud of the way they played,” Deal said. “They never hung their heads.”
Darby Rhoads led McLoughlin with nine digs, while Emma Leber and Rylee Herndon both recorded eight digs. Kadey Brown tallied two aces and Addy Brown totaled seven assists.
The Tigers have either swept their opponents or been swept by their opponents in every game this year. Coming off two straight three-set losses at the hands of Fruitland and Vale, La Grande secured a much-needed victory at home against McLoughlin.
Up next, the Tigers will compete at the Sisters Tournament on Sept. 18, while McLoughlin will play against College Place High School on Sept. 14.
Imbler defeats Elgin in four sets
ELGIN — It was a slow start for Imbler, but the Panthers came from behind to defeat the Elgin Huskies in four sets.
In a tightly contested first set, Elgin edged out Imbler 26-24 to take an early advantage in the match. Imbler got off to a slow start, battling out a close second set. The Panthers held on late to take the second set 25-20 and even the match.
Imbler ramped up the intensity in the final two sets, winning by sizable margins. The Panthers defeated the Huskies 24-14 in the third set and blew out Elgin 25-6 in the game’s final set.
Allison Stirewalt and Elidia Rivas led the way with eight kills each, while Harvest Coston recorded seven. Joelle Treat led the team with three aces and was 100% in service attempts over 29 serves.
Stirewalt was effective at the net, tallying a team-high three solo blocks. Emily Arnoldus led the Panthers with nine digs and Treat tallied 19 assists.
The victory improved Imbler’s record to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in Old Oregon League competition. The Panthers will host Cove on Sept. 16
Elgin is still winless on the year through six games, but showed fight against one of the better teams at the 1A level. The Huskies will look to earn their first win of the season in a matchup at Cove on Sept. 17.
Joseph sweeps Wallowa
WALLOWA — It was all business for Joseph, as the Eagles looked dominant in a league victory over Wallowa. Joseph won the match in three straight sets to improve to 6-3 on the year and 2-0 in Old Oregon League play.
The Eagles handled the first set and held a steady lead, taking the set 25-13. With Wallowa on the ropes, Joseph went on to win the next two sets 25-13 and 25-12.
The loss drops Wallowa’s record to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in league play, but they will look to respond against Damascus Christian on Sept. 17 at the Powder Valley East/West Classic. Joseph will look to keep momentum going at the East/West Classic as well.