Hermiston left no doubt which team is the Top Dawg in the Columbia River Conference so far this season with a 3-1 victory over Hood River Valley Tuesday night.
Things did not get any better for HRV in Pendleton Thursday night, where the Eagles lost 3-2 to the Buckaroos, their fourth consecutive league loss.
The losses dropped the Eagles to 4-4 in league play and into second place in the standings. HRV is three games back of Hermiston, and one game ahead of Pendleton with four games remaining.
After dropping the first game to the Bulldogs, Tuesday HRV rallied back to win the third 25-19.
The fourth game was a see-saw affair, with both teams trading points and getting tied at 17-17.
At that point, though, Hermiston's depth and athleticism took hold and combined with HRV mistakes to allow the Bulldogs to go on an 8-1 run to close out the match.
The Thursday loss at Pendleton was even tougher for the Eagles, who fought back to avoid elimination in the fourth game with a 25-18 win, only to see the Bucks pull out a 17-15 win in the fifth game to win the match.
After a disastrous third go-round through the league schedule, the Eagles will look to get back on track entering the final two weeks of league play when they play at The Dalles Wednesday.