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Eagle volleyball handles TDW, has trouble with Pendleton

Eagle volleyball hosted The Dalles Wahtonka Tuesday evening in the first of four meetings the Columbia River Conference rivals will have this season. The Eagle-Indians, now 0-3 in league play, put up a decent fight against a taller and more athletic Hood River squad, but in the end the Eagles won the contest 25-11, 25-15, 24-26, 25-18.

Kaili Duffy led the team with 10 kills, two aces, four digs and 3.5 blocks. Jestena Mattson picked up seven kills, Amanda McCafferty led the team in assists with 22, Tabitha Merten had five kills and Cristina Henage led at the service line with three aces.

“I think we just got overconfident and didn’t play as hard as we should have,” Duffy said about the third set loss. “They definitely stepped it up a little, but it was more us not playing very well through the set.”

Tuesday’s win follows last week’s 3-2 victory on the road against Hermiston. The Eagles traveled Thursday to Pendleton to have a second shot at the Buckaroos, who beat Hood River 3-1 in the season opener earlier this month.

The 25-12, 26-24, 18-25, 25-13 loss puts Hood River at 2-2 in the league, while Pendleton remains undefeated at 4-0.

“We started out horrible losing the first game 12-25,” coach Scott Walker said of Thursday’s match. “Our passing was off and that threw everything else off. We had 16 passing errors for the match. The second game we passed a little better and served better and actually had one game point at 24-23, but dropped 3 points in-a-row to go down 24-26. The third game we dominated from the beginning, being up by 8-10 points for most of the game. In the fourth game, the poor passing and serving came out again.”

McCafferty had four aces on the night; Friazier had 9 digs and 13 kills and Mattson and Duffy added six kills each.

“We’re a young team and are still improving on ball control and passing, which are two of our main weaknesses,” Duffy said. “But I’m feeling really good about how much we have progressed since our first match. I feel like by the end of the season we’ll have a very good shot at making the playoffs. Between now and then we really need to improve on our consistency, especially in serving and hitting more accurately.”

What’s next:

The Eagles host Hemiston Sept. 25 (6:30 p.m.), then travel to The Dalles Sept. 27.

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