Seniors play last set

October 29, 2005

You know the saying … “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

Well, close counted for an explosive, action-packed show Tuesday night, as the Hood River Valley High School varsity volleyball team battled in five sets against the Hermiston Bulldogs. In the end, the Eagles’ lost their last home match of the season 5-15 in the fifth set.

The team’s seven seniors, Kendal Cederstam, Jamie Abbott, Vanessa Geddis, Michelle Tanner, Whitney Osborn, Kacie Woodburn and Amy Metcalfe, walked off the court for the last time as Eagles to a standing ovation.

“I was proud of how the girls came together as a team and played hard for their last home match,” commented Coach Jennifer Baklenko. “We will miss the seniors and their love for their game.”

The girls battled back against Hermiston’s tough net play. After losing the first set 18-25, Hood River fought to a narrow 26-24 victory. Hermiston won the next set 25-19, followed by an Eagles’ 25-14 win to force a fifth set. In the fifth, a couple missed serves and some solid Hermiston striking built an early lead that Hood River couldn’t take back.

Highlights include Jamie Abbott’s 16 kills and 7 digs and Kendal Cederstam’s 11 digs and 4 aces.

In their last match of the season, the girls graveled to The Dalles to take on the Eagle-Indians, who finished fourth in the Intermountain Conference.

“The first two games of the last match were totally different from our Tuesday night match,” said Baklenko. “No one seemed ready to play. If we would have played with the same focus as we did on Tuesday, the match would have been a different story.”

With two straight 8-25 losses, the Eagles third set come-around was too little too late and they lost their final set of the season 20-25.

Cedarstam finished her high school career with five digs and Abbott finished with seven digs in the third set alone.

The loss against The Dalles-Wahtonka wrapped up a rocky season for the Eagles, as they went 1-11 in league matches. With six juniors on the roster this year, the team will look to returning players to step up next season as seniors and take leadership roles for the younger players filling in for the graduating players.

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