HOOD RIVER — Welcoming the No. 11 team in the state to town is never an exciting prospect for a young team.
But when you play with no fear, as the HRV volleyball team did Thursday against Pendleton, you still walk away a winner.
“This is the best we’ve played so far,” said sophomore Napua Wampler, who made numerous diving digs in all three games to keep rallies alive. “We knew they were one of the top teams and we tried to play to their level. The energy was really good tonight.”
HRV lost 25-11, 25-8 and 25-13 to the Buckaroos, whose power was only surpassed by their intensity and height. All height disparities aside, the Eagles still managed to play with plenty of heart and have a lot of fun doing it.
“We’re pretty pumped up right now,” said sophomore Katie Pritchett, one of 10 new players on the varsity roster. “We’re starting to play a lot better together and it’s been a little more fun.”
The Eagles also fell to Hermiston this week by a count of 25-8, 25-17, 25-10, while their conference record fell to 0-7.
Despite the losses, HRV has markedly improved over the past week, and has relied on the consistency of sophomores Meghan Flink and Ashley Delepine to keep them in games.
Next up is the David Douglas Invitational this weekend in Portland. The next IMC matchups are Oct. 4 at home versus Bend (3:30 p.m.) and Mountain View (7 p.m.).