STANFIELD — Things are getting tight in the Blue Mountain Conference volleyball standings.
The Union Bobcats are sitting pretty atop the standings at 7-0 after handing Stanfield a 25-17, 25-11, 25-17 loss Thursday night.
“Things are a little more neck and neck,” Union coach Karly Knapp said. “It’s fun to play in this league. It has been crazy with Stanfield, Weston-McEwen and Heppner.”
The Tigers (14-6 overall, 4-3 BMC) came into the match having won their past three matches, but had trouble from the get-go with the Bobcats.
“They came ready to play,” Stanfield coach Blaine Ganvoa said Union. “They executed well and got into a rhythm early.”
After a 3-3 tie in the first set, Union’s Callie Glenn reeled off four consecutive points, and Kylie Marriott followed with four of her own for a 10-4 lead.
The Tigers would get as close as 21-17 down the stretch, but could never put together a string of points.
Autumn Daggett had five of her match-high 14 kills in the first set, including the final point.
Marriott controlled the net in the second set with six kills, while Daggett put together a run of nine points to give the Bobcats a 17-6 lead.
“We knew we had to work hard,” Marriott said. “They are a really good team. It makes it (the league) more competitive knowing that we have to work hard.”
The Tigers trailed early once again in the third set, but came back to tie the score at 13-13. The Bobcats got four points from Taylar Daggett for a 19-15 lead.
Marriott had four of her 12 kills right in a row to give her team a 23-17 lead.
“Being able to put a point run of three or four was the hump factor,” Ganvoa said. “It just wasn’t in the cards tonight. From this point moving forward, is getting ready to compete at that level and coming out on the other end.”
Brooke Howland led the Tigers with nine kills and 29 digs, while Zuri Reeser had eight kills and 15 digs. Savannah Sharp had 14 assists and 10 digs; Brielle Howland seven kills, nine digs and 10 assists; and 14 digs from Taylor Longhorn.
Stanfield will play Weston-McEwen and Grant Union on Saturday in John Day.
“It’s a big week for us,” Ganvoa said.
For the Bobcats, Callie Glenn handed out 26 assists and had 11 digs, while Brianna Kohr had 18 digs. Sydney Antoine had three blocks; Autumn Daggett five aces; and Ahnica Shoemaker two kills and two blocks.
“We wanted this win,” Knapp said. “We had good competition. We pushed each other, and we both had to work hard to get points. “It’s nice to see their program on the rise.”
Union will host Heppner and Enterprise on Saturday.