After a disappointing loss to Mountain View on Sept. 5, the Eagles traveled to Canby this past weekend for a tournament that hosted various 5A schools.
Before pool play got underway the Eagles were already shorthanded as starting striker and right side position player Hannah McNerney couldn’t compete this weekend as she was attending a funeral. Also at a funeral was junior Haylee Baker, an outside hitter and defensive specialist.
In pool play that determined seeding going into bracket play, the Eagles faced off against Jefferson and Canby high school.
“We played fairly well in the morning on Saturday in our pool play despite missing a couple of girls,” said Head Coach Scott Walker.
The Eagles took three games off of Jefferson to open the tournament and in a quick turnaround they would drop their next two to Canby. The first game against Canby favored the Cougars by a large margin, but the Eagles made things interesting in the second loss, losing by a score of 24-26.
In the last game against Canby, HRV would win 26-24.
With a slightly different roster heading into this tournament, “we played some really good games, especially the two close ones against Canby,” Walker said.
Heading into bracket play the Eagles were 4-2 in sets, but 1-1 overall.
Once the other nine teams finished pool play a final bracket was made and HRV was the fourth seed heading into the end of the tournament.
In the first round of bracket play, HRV matched up against the number five seed, the Thurston Colts. In the two sets these teams played against each other the Colts “pretty handily” beat the Eagles by scores of 13-25 and 16-25. “We had trouble with passing and serving all day,” said Walker. “That’s really what did us in.”
Thurston went on to beat Mountain View in the semi-finals and then ended up losing to Canby in the championship game.
“So, the team that we were really competitive with in the final two sets went on to win the whole thing,” said Walker. “I think it would’ve been a different story if our girls had passed and served the ball well, but that’s always the case for everything.”
Passing and serving the ball for the Eagles has been a point of emphasis made by Walker, but heading into this tournament the team had little to no opportunity to work on this part of their game because of the fires in the area forcing them to cancel practice.
“I think a lot of our problem this past weekend is the fact that we haven't practiced for eight days,” Walker said. “I can't wait to get back in the gym on Monday and get better.”
As the girls were finally able to get back into the gym Monday, they’ll have only one day to prepare as they face off against Pendleton at home in their first league game of the season on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Quickly after Tuesday’s game the Eagles welcome Columbia (White Salmon) on Sept. 14.