High schools from across the state traveled to Hood River this weekend for HRV’s annual volleyball tournament.
The Eagles were on a four-game winning streak heading into this tournament and had not lost a single set since Sept. 16.
And the Eagles continued their dominant play last Saturday, for the most part.
The Eagles went undefeated in the seeding rounds of the tournament and would matchup in bracket play against a familiar opponent that would decide who played in the title game — after meeting in a league matchup about a week ago, HRV and The Dalles would play each other again in a best-of-three match.
The Eagles’ would handle the Riverhawks in two sets (25-18 both sets).
Katie Kennedy led the Eagles with 10 kills against The Dalles.
A close second in kills was Shae Duffy with eight, and Kennedy James with two.
Passing leaders were Emily Curtis, who had 11 assists, and Hannah McNerney (10).
Curtis also served the ball well against The Dalles, tallying six aces; Haylee Baker, McNerney and Kennedy each had one.
The girls were also impressive defensively in the two sets, totaling seven blocks and 17 digs.
Duffy had 2.5 blocks to lead the Eagles.
Getting her fair share of blocks as well was Kennedy with two and Carli Stroud with 1.5.
Eight different Eagles’ contributed to the 17 total digs as a team. Kennedy led with five, Duffy and McNerney each had three, Curtis had two, and James, Baker, Leticia Martinez and Emilie Ellifritz each had one.
After their victory, the Eagles’ watched the ongoing battle between Ridgeview and Beaverton, with the winner playing HRV in the title game.
This game would go to three sets and Ridgeview would outlast Beaverton 15-7.
In the first set between HRV and Ridgeview, the Eagles’ controlled the game throughout, winning 25-16.
Momentum heavily favored HRV heading into the second set and it seemed the girls would get the job done at home.
However, this game was far from over.
Ridgeview’s only losses this year have been to Summit (Number 1, 5A), Bend (Number 3, 5A), and Sisters (Number 1, 4A) — and in the last two years, those three teams have all won a state title.
Which goes on to say that this Ridgeview team is very talented and they showed that in the second set, practically flipping the scoreboard from the first set and winning 25-18.
This victory would put all the pressure on HRV to come out in set three and win their tournament.
Early in the final set, HRV and Ridgeview continued a back and forth battle before Head Coach Scott Walker called a timeout with the game all tied up at 4-4.
Unfortunately, Ridgeview came out of this timeout on a 4-1 run and forced Walker to use his last timeout of the final set as the Eagles were down 8-5.
HRV would fall short and lose 15-10, and this game would snap the Eagles five game winning streak, which included the victory against The Dalles earlier that day.
Walker raised attention to the poor passing and serving the team displayed in the final two sets against Ridgeview, but he also credited the girls on the other side of the net for their play.
“When our passing and serving was off, we became really predictable and Ridgeview plays great defense,”said Walker.
“Ridgeview’s placement of hard flat serves was a lot better as well, and I feel like we started worrying about missing serves and sent over some lollipops.”
Scoring leaders for the Eagles were Kennedy with 12 kills, Duffy with 10, and James and Curtis each with three. McNerney led the team in assists with 15, while Curtis had 12.
Unlike their previous game against The Dalles, HRV struggled to serve the ball. Leaders in aces were Duffy (4) and Kennedy (1); these five were the total in three sets for HRV.
Of the eight team blocks, Kennedy led with three and Curtis with 2.5.
Dig leaders were James (8), McNerney (7), Duffy (5), Ellifritz (3), Curtis (3), Kennedy (2), and Baker and Madi James (1).
Although this loss does hurt as it comes at home and breaks the girls’ winning streak, Walker said, “getting beat by a team like Ridgeview doesn't dim the improvement that I've seen in the last few weeks at all.”
HRV has five games remaining on their schedule, which includes their only league home game against The Dalles this Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. (Results not available at press time.)
“Going forward, we need to pass better and the placement of our serves and hits has to have more pop and purpose,” said Walker. “A few tweaks and some hard work, and we're right there with the top teams in the state.”