Chiawana had just one serve receive error Tuesday night. That and a few other things spelled doom for Hermiston in its Mid-Columbia Conference home match with the Riverhawks.
McKenna Kaelber handed out 26 assists and Mareesa Hill had seven kills as the Riverhawks cruised to a 25-16, 25-6, 25-6 victory over the Bulldogs (2-6).
“We never showed up,” Hermiston coach Amy Dyck said. “I don’t know what the distraction was. We can have the greatest warm-up in the world, and as soon as the whistle blows we don’t have it. One day it will click and they will believe in themselves. They have the talent and the heart.”
Kylie Thorn, who had six kills and three aces, reeled off eight consecutive points in the first set as Chiawana jumped out to a 12-2 lead.
Hermiston’s Haylee Hamilton put three points on the board to pull her team within 15-7, and Kendall Dowdy added three more points to make it 17-10. The teams traded points to the end.
Kaelber and Hill combined for 10 points as the Riverhawks went out front 11-1 in the second set. The Bulldogs would not get closer than 10 points.
The third set was more of the same. Marissa Logozzo served seven consecutive points for a 7-1 lead, then Thorne reeled off eight more for a 17-1 lead.
With Chiawana leading 19-5, the Bulldogs committed four unforced errors as the Riverhawks put the match away.
“Against a team this good, we can’t send over a bunch of free balls,” Dyck said. “They take a free ball and say, ‘Thank you very much.’”
Dowdy led the Bulldogs with 11 digs and 10 assists, while Courtnee West had 18 assists, Scout Reagan three kills and six digs, Avery Treadwell four kills, and Daisy Maddox three kills.
The win was No. 501 for Chiawana coach Jim Steach, whose team is 7-0 in the MCC.
“We have six seniors who have been around awhile,” he said. “They know the game really well. Defensively, our movement was much better. It’s these kind of things we are working on getting better at.”
Yaneli Garcia added five kills, and Logozzo 13 digs for the Riverhawks.