HERMISTON — The first-match jitters got the best of Hermiston on Saturday in its Mid-Columbia Conference volleyball season opener, as Walla Walla beat the the Bulldogs in three sets.

The Bulldogs fell 25-13, 26-24 and 25-19.

“Obviously, losing is never ideal,” Hermiston coach Amy Dyck said, “but it allowed us to see what we need to continue building on and what areas we have a pretty strong foundation in.”

In her debut with the Bulldogs’ varsity team, sophomore Kambree Baker led with four aces, two blocks, and two digs. Halee Stubbs added 10 digs; Emma Combes chipped in eight digs; and Kendall Dowdy finished with 10 assists and nine kills.

“In the first set, we were still kicking the nerves out a little bit,” Dyck said. “Half of our starting lineup is sophomores who have never been on varsity before, but once they got going, they started to find their rhythm. They were able to do some pretty great stuff.”

Hermiston will host Richland at 7 p.m. Tuesday in an MCC match.

Volleyball

ECHO 3, JOSEPH 1 — After suffering a pool play loss to Wallowa to open its home Cat Classic tournament, the Echo Cougars finished strong with a third-place win over Joseph on Saturday.

The Cougars escaped with the first two sets 25-19 and 25-21, but stumbled in the third with a 25-22 loss to Joseph. They rallied back with a 25-20 fourth-set win to take the match.

“They were tired after Wallowa,” head coach Janice Scott said, “but they pushed through, stayed in the game, and kept going.”

The Cougars (3-3) host Dufur on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

NORTH CLACKAMAS CHRISTIAN 3, IONE/ARLINGTON 0 — The unbeaten Saints handed the Cardinals a swift three-set home loss on Saturday afternoon, taking down Ione 25-21, 25-18, 25-18.

Despite the loss, Isabella Mastriona went 10 for 12 at the service line with two aces and three kills. Emma Rietmann contributed six blocks and nine kills; Tresslyn McCurry had eight kills and served 8 for 9 with an ace; and Megan Doherty added an ace from her 11-for-13 performance from the service line.

Ione/Arlington (3-2) opens Big Sky League play on Tuesday at Mitchell/Spray.

WESTON-MCEWEN AT THE EAST-WEST CLASSIC — The TigerScots faced a slew of volleyball talent at Heppner’s East-West Volleyball Classic on Saturday afternoon, going 1-2 on the day.

Weston-McEwen opened the day with a five-set loss to Vernonia. The Loggers swept the first set 25-6, but the TigerScots rallied back with a 25-21 second-set win. Vernonia returned to win set three 25-22, and W-M answered with a 25-16 win in the following set. The Loggers claimed the match with a narrow 15-12 fifth-set victory.

St. Paul defeated the TigerScots in three, 25-18, 25-14, 25-16, but Weston-McEwen ended the day with a win over Irrigon, beating the knights in a five-set battle.

W-M won the first set 25-18, and fell in the second and third 25-22, but regrouped to take the final two sets, 25-19 and 15-5.

“Every game was really tough today,” W-M coach Shawn White said. “We got to see a lot of great volleyball teams.”

Ellie Scheibner posted 34 assists, 17 digs, and six kills on the day. Cloe Davis added 22 kills and three blocks; Trinity Hearn served up eight aces; Jesse Manning finished with 23 digs and 19 kills; and Bailey Munch led the team with 10 blocks. Emma Olson went 35 for 36 from the service line with an ace, and Carrie Hazen went 51 for 53 on the day with five aces.

PIONEERS GO 1-2 AT HELIX TOURNEY — Mac-Hi went 1-2 in pool play, then dropped a 25-22, 25-11 match to Cove in bracket play.

In pool play, Imbler beat Mac-Hi 25-24, then dropped a 25-21 game to Pine Eagle.

The Pioneers then beat Riverside twice, 25-14 and 25-23.

“We have our ups and downs like any other team, and are working on having less dis in our play,” Mac-Hi coach Lucy Deal said. “All-in-all, it was a good day for the team.”

Jaycee Deal and 10 kills and Emma Leber seven for the Pioneers, while Abby Richwine had eight blocks.

Boys soccer

IRRIGON 4, FOUR RIVERS 1 — The Knights opened its season in top form Saturday, allowing just one goal for its Four Rivers hosts. The game kicked off Eastern Oregon League play for both teams.

Up next, Irrigon (1-0) returns home Tuesday to face Portland Christian in a nonleague contest. The match begins at 6 p.m.

Girls soccer

KAMIAKIN 6, HERMISTON 0 — Lanie Gomez had 13 saves, but the Braves still made off with the win in Saturday’s Mid-Columbia Conference opener in Kennewick.

“It was a solid game,” Hermiston coach Freddy Guizar said. “A lot of the girls were nervous. They knew Kamiakin was a very tough opponent.”

Gomez was one of Hermiston’s few key starters on the field on Saturday, as most were still out because of injuries suffered during practice.

“She’s an aggressive girl that is going to dive at any ball,” Guizar said of Gomez, a senior keeper. “She’s not scared to go after somebody. She had about four 1 vs. 1s with Kamiakin players, and she beat ‘em.”

Jayden Ray added two shots on goal for the Bulldogs.

Hermiston (0-1) travels to Richland for a 7 p.m. Tuesday

Football

ECHO 54, RIVERSIDE 40 — In a last-minute cross-classification six-man matchup, the 1A Echo Cougars opened its season with a nonleague home win over the 3A Riverside Pirates on Saturday.

Mason Smith ran for 319 yards and six touchdowns, and caught one TD pass for the Cougars. Luke White added 109 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Mason Murdock had 13 tackles. Kenneth Troxell had 8.5 tackles.

Echo’s nonleague game against Siletz Valley on Friday was canceled, while Riverside returns home to play Portland Christian.

Swimming

RICHLAND — Hermiston had a handful of girls turn in district qualifying times Friday in its first meet of the season.

“We are very hopeful for this season,” coach Sara Sargent said.

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