Should the HRVHS homecoming decorations mysteriously find their way into the middle of the still-smoldering Milepost 66 fire, the school’s volleyball coaches are the likely culprits.
The Eagles went to The Dalles-Wahtonka Thursday night on the heels of a home win over Hermiston Tuesday figuring to pick up a fairly easy win before a showdown at league leading Pendleton Tuesday.
Instead the Eagle-Indians — previously winless in league play — held off a couple of furious HRV rallies to win 3-2 (25-21, 10-25, 25-21, 25-27, 17-15).
“Our passing just wasn’t there and we couldn’t get the ball up to Amanda (McCafferty),” Walker said. “Once we got it up to her we just did easy things with her sets.”
The Eagles repeatedly struggled to put the ball away, with many hits often winding up right in the lap of TDW libero Katherine Kramer, who then set up a TDW attack.
The loss was a huge setback for HRV in every possible way.
Instead of going into Pendleton Tuesday with a chance to pull within a game of the league lead, the Eagles (3-3 in league) are now three games back on the Bucks (6-0 in league).
Even worse for HRV: The loss to the Eagle-Indians, who previously had just one win on the season, sent them tumbling down the 5A rankings.
Only the top 24 teams in the state power rankings qualify for a state play-in game, and the Eagles came into the game ranked 23rd. Following the loss they dropped nine spots to 32nd.
The Eagles walked into an ambush from the very first game of the match. They fell behind 12-4 early and never got within three points the rest of the game.
In the second game HRV appeared to get things figured out as the Eagles rolled to a 14-point lead early and won by 15.
However in a crucial third game, the Eagles reverted right back to their first game form, committing numerous mistakes as TDW got the win.
The same scenario repeated itself in the fourth game until the Eagles called a timeout while trailing 19-14.
At that point the Eagles came to life, staved off a TDW chance at game point and managed to get a 27-25 win.
The fifth game turned into a back-and-forth affair with both teams squandering opportunities at game point before TDW was able to get the ball back and finish the job with a spike just out of reach of several HRV defenders.
Now the Eagles face an uphill battle for every remaining match of the season in order to have any chance at the playoffs.
“You need every win,” said HRV coach Scott Walker. “We’re at three losses and we don’t really have any help unless we beat Pendleton.”
JV: The HRV JV team lost to Hermiston 2-1 and beat TDW 2-0.