Photo by RJ Chavez
Katie Kennedy ended the night with five kills against Hermiston.
After great play at the Century tournament last weekend, the Eagles volleyball team fought their way back to .500 and were 4-4 on the season.
HRV was back home Tuesday night as they welcomed the Hermiston Bulldogs.
Hermiston headed into this matchup with an overall record of 2-6 and on a five-game losing streak.
This would be a meaningful game for both teams, with the Eagles trying to find their footing as they’re still not where they want to be and the Bulldogs trying to avoid a sixth straight loss.
The game started off fast for the Eagles.
A kill for the first point of the game by Katie Kennedy translated into a 4-0 start by HRV and it helped get the crowd into it early on.
The Eagles would continue to build on the momentum they established early on, going up 7-1 and forcing Hermiston to take their first timeout only eight points into the first set.
Eight points later and Hermiston had no choice but to call another timeout, with the Eagles dominating the Bulldogs 14-2.
The Eagles would close out the first set winning by a score of 25-12, with a majority of their points coming off of Hermiston errors.
The second set would end in dramatic fashion, with Kennedy blocking a shot back onto the Hermiston side of the net, giving the Eagles a 24-14 lead. The following serve would give the Eagles the win in the second set.
Hermiston would give the Eagles a test in the third set, but the Eagles were able to outlast a late effort by the Bulldogs, winning by a score of 25-21 and advancing to 5-4 on the season.
Leaders in this game with seven kills apiece were Shae Duffy and Kennedy James. Duffy would also add three digs and a block to her stat line.
Hannah McNerney and Emily Curtis led the way for the Eagles in assists, each having 11. Curtis also led the team in aces with four.
The block leader against Hermiston was Carli Stroud, who had 2.5. She added two kills and an assist as well.
Head Coach Scott Walker explained that in the first two sets, the team put pressure on Hermiston with good serving.
“I am hoping for more of the same against The Dalles, solid serving and good defense,” Walker said.
Which is what the team was able to do on Wednesday.
Although the first set between the two schools was close, ending at 26-24 in favor of Hood River, the Eagles picked up their play and would dominate in the next two sets, winning by scores of 25-16 and 25-14.
After two sweeps this weekend, the girls are now two games above .500 after a rough start.
The girls move to 6-4 on the season and are second in their conference, only behind Pendleton.
Next Tuesday, the girls are on the road against undefeated Pendleton. Walker emphasized that his team needs to continue to “work on tips and hopefully improve in that aspect of the game,” before their matchup against the Buckaroos.