HRV’s young volleyball team continues to rack up the wins in the Columbia River Conference and added another Tuesday against Pendleton in Hood River in a game that went to four sets.
Although Pendleton had only won a single CRC game going into Tuesday’s conference, the Buckaroos proved to be a challenge for the Eagles, who, while passing and blocking well, struggled with serving, setting, and hitting, according to HRV coach Scott Walker, which made the game probably more exciting than it should have been.
“The match was a really a roller coaster ride. Lots of highs and lows,” he said. “In the first three sets, we got down by quite a few points and had to work our way back into it. In the first set we were down 16-22, and 20-24. The mantra was the same, ‘Hit it in, serve it in...’ We did and won it 26-24. The second set, we got down big and never came back, 20-25. The third set we got behind again and won it late, 25-22.”
The fourth set was the opposite of the first three, with HRV building a sizable lead early on. At one point, HRV was up 19-11 but saw the lead slowly shrink to five points, and then four.
“At 24-19 we had a really nice swing that they dug back over the net, and we weren’t watching the ball — that dropped and gave them their 20th point,” Walker recalled. “We called timeout and the next play we scrambled a poor pass and a tight set to Emily (Curtis), who stretched out and tapped the ball off the blocker’s arm out of bounds for the match.”
Rebecca Johnson had 21 perfect passes and 21 digs and played a solid match for us, Walker said. Katie Kennedy led the team with 15 kills and Shae Duffy had 14 kills for the offense. Kennedy also had five-and-a-half blocks and the team in general blocked the ball well with 10 team blocks for the match. Curtis had 29 assists and was “our most consistent server,” Walker said, with 23 serves, one ace, and no errors.
The Eagles followed up Tuesday’s game by sweeping the struggling Hermiston Bulldogs on Thursday, who have yet to win a league game this season, and are now saddled with a 0-5 CRC record. HRV won the game in three tight sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-20).
The win propelled the Eagles to a No. 10 ranking in 5A and a 4-1 league record. They are currently in second place — one game back behind The Dalles. The Riverhawks are having a great season with a 5-0 league record (15-1 overall), a No. 4 ranking, and have only lost three sets the entire year.
HRV will look for an upset Tuesday when they host The Dalles at 6:30 p.m. The team then heads to Ridgeview for a nonleague game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.