LA GRANDE — In the Old Oregon League volleyball district tournament, Joseph may have emerged as the district champions, however Echo and Helix both locked up postseason spots as well with upset victories.
On Saturday at La Grande High School, the Cougars and Grizzles both beat the No. 1 seed Powder Valley Badgers to clinch the final two playoff spots in the district. Echo, coming in as the No. 3 seed, swept Powder Valley 25-21-25-19, 25-20 in the opening round before losing to Joseph 3-1 in the district championship game. Helix fell to Joseph 3-1 (25-11, 18-25, 10-25, 22-25) but then turned around and beat Powder Valley 3-1 (25-20, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20) to finish in third place. The Badgers had swept the season series with both the Cougars and Grizzlies by a combined 12-4 score.
On the day, Sadie Wilson collected 34 kills for Helix while Kylee Stahancyk, Lynne Roberts, Kailey Mize, and Arianna Krol all had standout performances. Statistics for Echo were not available.
Helix’s Wilson and Charmayne Bennett and Echo’s Monique Montoya were also selected to the all-tournament team afterwards.
UP NEXT: Echo will host Jordan Valley on Wednesday in a first round meeting, while Helix will travel to Dufur.
Sadie Wilson, Helix; Megan Bingham, Powder Valley; Monique Montoya, Echo; Charmayne Bennett, Helix; Emma Hite, Joseph; Sabrina Albee, Joseph.
PILOT ROCK — The Culver Bulldogs continued their dominance and swept Heppner on Saturday to claim in Class 2A Columbia Basin Conference district title.
To set up the meeting with Culver, Heppner had to go through tournament-host Pilot Rock as the Rockets defeated the defending state champion Weston-McEwen TigerScots one round earlier. In the Mustangs match against Pilot Rock, they held on to sweep the Rockets 25-21, 28-26, 25-22. Heppner had help from a big defensive performance by freshman Sydney Wilson, who finished with 26 digs.
“We had to battle for each and every point,” head coach Mindy Wilson said. “We didn’t serve well, missing 15 serves, and that does not help when trying to gain momentum. But by supporting each other. We dug deep and got the win.”
For Pilot Rock, Abby Rigby had 14 kills and Rhyanne Oates tallied 18 digs to lead the team.
The momentum the Mustangs eventually gained was not enough to top the Bulldogs. Culver kept Heppner at bay for the first two sets, winning each 25-15 and 25-16. Heppner made things a little tougher in the third set, but the Bulldogs pulled away to win 25-21.
“We came out after our win against Pilot Rock and just couldn’t get going,” Wilson said. “You have to be on your game against a team like Culver. They were just the better team tonight.”
This isn’t the end for the Mustangs, as both Heppner and Culver will advance to the 2A state tournament.
However, two teams seasons did end Saturday: the Weston-McEwen and Pilot Rock.
The pair opened the tournament facing each other, just days after their last meeting. Earlier in the week, the TigerScots were swept by the Rockets and this time, although they were able to win a set, fell again to the Rockets 3-1.
“We just didn’t play well enough,” Weston-McEwen coach Shawn White said. “We had a great week of practice and we just didn’t get it done on the court.”
“Our girls came and offensively attacked the entire match,” Pilot Rock coach Elainna Howland added. “Our serving was spot on, defensively we were in the right place at the right time.”
Oates led the Rockets with 10 kills in the match while Rigby and Grace Austin had six. Oates also tallied 29 digs.
Even though Weston-McEwen didn’t end its season on a high note, the TigerScots kept things close and made Pilot Rock work for its win. The first two sets went to the Rockets, 19-25 and 23-25. But the TigerScots came back to win their only set of the day, 25-18 and force a fourth. Pilot Rock squeaked by 25-21 to cement its win.
Leading Weston-McEwen was junior Bryce Thul, who finished with 12 digs, 18 assists, and four kills. Senior Alyssa Finifrock had a team-high 11 kills. Both freshman Jesse Manning and Emma Olson had two aces. Senior Chelsea Quesampts led the team with 13 digs.
MAC-HI 7, BAKER 3 — At Baker City, the Mac-Hi Pioneers finished off a perfect season in Greater Oregon League play with a 7-3 victory over the Baker Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.
The Pioneers (10-3 overall, 6-0 GOL) will now await their first round opponent in the 4A state playoffs.
RIVERSIDE 11, NYSSA 0 — At Nyssa, the No. 1-ranked Riverside Pirates remained unbeaten on the season with an 11-0 victory over Nyssa on Saturday, the seventh shutout victory of the season for the Pirates.
Riverside (12-0 overall, 5-0 Eastern Oregon League) will finish up league play on Friday with a home game against Irrigon at 4 p.m.
UMATILLA 1, IRRIGON 0 — At Irrigon, the Umatilla Vikings snapped a four game losing streak with a shutout victory over the Knights on Saturday.
Umatilla (2-9-1 overall, 2-3 Eastern Oregon League) will wrap up the regular season on Friday at home against Nyssa at 3:30 p.m. Irrigon (0-12, 0-5) will host Trout Lake (WA) today at 4 p.m.
RIVERSIDE 1, NYSSA 0 — At Nyssa, the Riverside Pirates kept their undefeated league record intact by edging out the Nyssa Bulldogs for a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
Riverside (7-2-2 overall, 4-0-1 Eastern Oregon League) ends the regular season on Friday at home against Irrigon.
UMATILLA 3, IRRIGON 0 — At Irrigon, the Vikings notched their first win since Sept. 29 with a 3-0 shutout of Irrigon on Saturday afternoon.
Umatilla (3-7-3 overall, 2-1-2 Eastern Oregon League) next hosts Nyssa on Friday at 5 p.m. Irrigon (2-9-1, 0-5) travels to Riverside on Friday at 4 p.m.
BAKER 7, MAC-HI 0 — At Baker City, the Mac-Hi Pioneers ended a forgettable 2017 season with a shutout loss to the Baker Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.
Mac-Hi (0-11-2 overall, 0-6 Greater Oregon League) finishes the season after scoring just eight goals overall and just once in its final nine games.
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