Hermiston showed marked improvement from its Mid-Columbia Conference opener Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to counter the strong play of Chiawana.
Kylie Thorne had nine kills and five digs to lead the Riverhawks to a 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 victory Wednesday in Pasco.
“Last night was a lot of nerves,” Hermiston coach Amy Dyck said of Tuesday’s match with Southridge. “There was a lot of hype coming into the league. They were more relaxed tonight. They let the mistakes go instead of letting them get to them.”
Haylee Stubbs had four ace serves and eight digs for the Bulldogs (0-2 MCC), who had better ball control and attacked at the net with more authority than they did Tuesday.
“It was one of the best matches she has had,” Dyck said of Stubbs. “She was all over the place. We are developing our volleyball IQ everyday, along with building our system. They are trying not to get overwhelmed. We are getting them to believe.”
Hermiston was right in the thick of things in the first game, and at one point held a 9-7 lead. After the Bulldogs fought to tie the score at 12, the Riverhawks started to pull away.
Thorne served the last seven points of the game, a string that included three aces, and ended with a kill by Sianna Iverson.
The Bulldogs struggled with control in the second, committing 10 unforced errors. A run of six points by Thorne gave Chiawana a 15-5 lead in the game.
The Bulldogs rallied in the third game, pulling within 14-11 and 19-15 before the Riverhawks took advantage of three unforced errors for a 22-15 lead. Alaina Scott put the match away with a kill.
Ireland McDonough led the Bulldogs with six kills and five digs, while Kendall Dowdy handed out 14 assists.
Scott, Iverson and Angela Sullivan each added five kills for Chiawana (1-0 MCC), while McKenna Kaelber had four kills and 29 assists.
“We were able to get everyone out there,” Riverhawks coach Jim Steach said. “We have good depth. I am confident going 12 deep.”
Hermiston will be back in action at noon Saturday, hosting Pasco.