HEPPNER — In a classic Blue Mountain Conference matchup between the two programs, Heppner came back from a two set deficit to win a gritty, defensive volleyball match at home against Weston-McEwen 25-27, 19-25, 25-18, 26-24, 15-11.
”We always go five,” Mustangs coach Mindy Wilson said. “We always battle. Neither team ever gives in.”
After two back-and-forth sets that featured long runs by both sides and were won by the Tigerscots, Heppner turned it around by trusting in one another.
”I think it was just the girls having confidence in themselves and each other,” Wilson said. “I think they had to have that mental switch. They rose to the occasion.”
Down the stretch, W-M just had too many costly mistakes.
”As it went, we just had some errors at the wrong time,” W-M coach Shawn White said.
Kendra Zink led the Tigerscots with 12 kills, while Emma Olson had 54 digs, which White said were the most he can remember seeing in a match.
Sydney Wilson was a star for Heppner, leading the team with both 12 kills and 37 digs to go with five aces. Nicole Propheter wasn’t far behind with 11 kills and three blocks as well.
Both teams will play at home in another league match on Thursday, with Heppner (9-11, 3-2) hosting Stanfield and W-M (12-6, 2-3) hosting Enterprise.
SHERMAN 3, IONE/ARLINGTON 2 — The Cardinals pushed the Huskies to five sets, but came up short in the end as Sherman eked out a 23-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-20, 15-11 Big Sky League win in Moro.
Emma Rietmann led the Cardinals (5-6 overall, 2-4 BSL) with 11 kills, while Tresslyn McCurry had seven kills and three blocks. Eva Martin had 21 assists, and Isabella Mastriona 13 digs.
Ione will play at South Wasco County on Thursday.
STANFIELD 3, DESALES 0 — The Tigers swept the Irish 25-16, 25-9, 25-12 on the road in a nonleague match thanks to several strong service runs.
The Tigers were led by Brooke Howland and Zuri Reeser, who each had eight kills. Howland added 10 digs as well, while Savannah Sharp dished out 14 assists and had an ace. Reeser also had three blocks in the win.
Stanfield (13-5, 3-2) has won each of its last six sets and will return to Blue Mountain Conference play at Heppner on Thursday.
BAKER 3, MCLOUGHLIN 0 — McLoughlin fell in straight sets 25-13, 25-5, 25-10 at home to Baker.
”They had a lot of seniors who were really strong,” Pioneers coach Lucy Deal said, contrasting Baker to her own squad. “But they never got down and they fought hard. We learned what we need to work on. In no way am I disappointed in how they played tonight.”
Cambree Chester had 20 assists for Mac-High and Jaycee Deal added 11 digs in the loss.
Mac-High (3-11, 0-3) takes a two-match break from Greater Oregon League play, beginning with DeSales on Thursday at home.
RIVERSIDE 14, UKIAH/LONG CREEK 0 — Riverside was firing on all cylinders, blowing out Ukiah/Long Creek 14-0 at home in Eastern Oregon League action.
Riverside (4-3, 3-0) continues league play on Friday at Nyssa.
THE DALLES/DUFUR 2, PENDLETON 1 — A 60th minute goal by the Dalles/Dufur lifted the Riverhawks to a 2-1 win against Pendleton at home.
The Riverhawks first got on the board in the 35th minute and carried a 1-0 lead into the second half, where Pendleton’s Evan Evans netted a goal that was assisted by Jamie Mendoza.
Buckaroos coach Alex Erazo said he’d like to see his team take advantage of its chances in front of the goal on Friday, when Pendleton (2-3-1, 1-1) hosts Crook County in another Intermountain Conference matchup.
THE DALLES/DUFUR 3, PENDLETON 0 — Down three starters and relying on underclassmen to fill their void, Pendleton fell 3-0 in a league game at home to The Dalles/Dufur.
”The girls played a remarkable game today,” Buckaroos coach Paul Parker said. “We’re starting to see a lot of improvement.”
Parker noted the play of Lindsey Pasena-Littlesky in goal, while freshman Charlie Franklin was impressive in filling into the lineup.
With the team set to return to full health soon, Parker said he thinks they’re going to have a “really solid team” for the second half of the season.
Pendleton (0-6, 0-2) hosts Crook County in Eastern Oregon League action on Friday.
CHIAWANA 4, HERMISTON 0 — Hermiston dropped its fourth straight in a 4-0 league loss at Chiawana.
Chiawana scored its first goal in the opening 10 minutes, later adding another and taking a 2-0 lead into the half. Another tough opening 10 minutes to the second half made the deficit 4-0 and the Bulldogs couldn’t answer back.
”Our team is getting better,” Hermiston coach Freddy Guizar said. “We’re starting to trust each other and get that family bond we’ve been talking about.”
Lanie Gomez had 18 saves in goal for the Bulldogs.
Hermiston (1-8, 1-7) returns home to host Kamiakin on Saturday in another Mid-Columbia Conference matchup.