KENNEWICK — Hermiston finished the Mid-Columbia Conference regular season Thursday with a road loss to Kamiakin, but the Bulldogs did not make it easy on the Braves.
Kendall Dowdy had 21 assists, 13 digs, six kills and three aces as the Bulldogs fought to the end in a 28-26, 25-19, 25-23 loss.
“When you play a team on their Senior Night, they have a little more oomph,” Hermiston coach Amy Dyck said. “Kamiakin never gave in, even when we had the lead.”
The Bulldogs (5-9 MCC) will play North Central (4-7) in a loser-out game in the first round of the MCC/GSL District 8 Tournament at 5 p.m. Nov. 7 at Kamiakin High School. The winner will face Kamiakin (8-6 MCC) at 7 p.m.
Hermiston took an early 4-1 lead in the first set, and led until the Braves pulled even at 22-22. There would be four more ties before Maysen Chelin laid down a kill for Kamiakin for a 27-26 lead. A tip by the Braves would give them the win.
“Hermiston is a tough team,”Kamiakin coach Morgan Schauble said. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy. They are a competitive team.”
Kamiakin controlled the second set from start to finish, leading 15-5 at one point. The Bulldogs rallied to pull within 21-17, but would get no closer.
The Bulldogs took control of the third set, and had leads of 8-3 and 15-12, but 15 unforced errors in the set were too much to overcome.
The teams were tied at 19-19 before Kamiakin pulled away.
“For us, it is very much a mental game,” Dyck said. “We played a lot of good volleyball tonight. Hopefully, the next time we play we get a different result.”
Grace Vertrees led the Bulldogs with 15 kills, while Halee Stubbs had 23 digs. Emma Combes added 18 digs, and Kambree Baker five blocks.
Delaney Frame had 13 kills and 14 digs for the Braves. Graysen Banta added 14 digs, Makenna Morgan 11 digs, Yajaira Meraz 13 digs, eight assists and three aces, and Brooklyn Ford 12 assists and three aces.
RIVERSIDE 19, IRRIGON 2 — The Eastern Oregon League’s top-ranked Riverside Pirates ended their season’s undefeated conference run in record fashion, scoring the most goals in one match that they have all season to take down Irrigon on Wednesday.
“It was the last district game, and I think everyone’s mental state right now is getting ready for state,” Riverside head coach Jose Duenas said. “The players were hyped, and that showed today.”
Edwin Pacheco and Adair Rodriguez led the Pirates (11-3, 10-0 EOL) with three goals apiece. Christian Rea, Jose Napoles, Humberto Sanchez, and Ulyses Lopez each scored twice to aid in the road blowout over the Knights.
Irrigon had six shots on goal, and Riverside goalkeeper Jose Torres knocked down four saves.
The win solidified the Pirates as five-year defending district champions.
“We’re glad that we have a really good youth program,” Duenas said. “We’re thankful for that. The kids are motivated to keep that going, and to keep that passion strong.”
Riverside will host the first round of state next Wednesday against an opponent to be determined.
RIVERSIDE 8, IRRIGON 0 — For the fourth year in a row, the Riverside girls soccer team is district champions.
Wednesday’s road shutout at Irrigon sealed the Pirates trip to state, and Neftali Pacheco, Yazeli Ayala, Marisol Pacheco, and Cynthia Diaz each scored goals along the way to aid in the win.
“It was a really bad first half,” Riverside head coach Carlos Velasco said. “We weren’t passing, we weren’t controlling the ball. We were just kicking. They went into the second half and just kept scoring.”
With their district title in tow, the No. 1 Pirates (11-2-2, 7-0-1 EOL) will host the first round of the state tournament next week against an opponent to be determined.
“It feels good,” Velasco said. “It feels like we’re doing something right.”