PENDLETON - The Pendleton Buckaroos beat Hood River in three games Thursday night, topping the Eagles 25-19, 25-17, 25-16 in their home opener.
But head coach Dave Baty said the Bucks didn't play their best volleyball during the Intermountain Conference matchup.
"We played down to the competition just a teeny-tiny bit ... I wish that they wouldn't do that," Baty said. "I wish they'd walk in and play our game."
He said that his team played much tougher in their five-game victory at The Dalles-Wahtonka on Tuesday night before a raucous home crowd.
"I felt like that was the team that would show up tonight," Baty said.
Mackenzie Larson led the Bucks (2-0 IMC, 2-1) with eight kills, Jessica Baty added seven kills and Danielle Haslam had five.
"It's nice to win the home opener. I wish we could have done it a little neater and played a little less sloppy, but it's nice to win the home opener," Baty said.
He said his team looks like it's preparing for an Olympic-qualifier in practice, but tends to get flat-footed at game time.
"If they just play like we do in practice, we'll be fine," he said. "Our intensity level in practice is a whole lot higher than the way we're playing right now."
Hermiston loses to The Dalles
THE DALLES - The Hermiston Bulldogs let several service errors at key intervals get the best of them Thursday night, as they fell 22-25, 23-25, 17-25 in a nonleague volleyball match with The Dalles-Wahtonka Eagle Indians.
Coach Kay Edwards said service errors in the first two games tripped up Hermiston when they appeared to be on a roll.
"At critical times when we had momentum, we were ahead, and a service error changed the momentum," said Edwards.
The Bulldogs (1-1) committed six service errors in the first game and five in the second.
Edwards said the 0-2 hole left her team drained during the third game.
"I think we went in emotionally down and played very flat from the start (of the third game). We got down early, and spent most of the time catching up," she said.
She added that the Eagle Indians enjoyed "an awesome, loud (home) crowd."
Hermiston's Caitlen Cozad led the team with seven kills and had three blocks. Mykael Bothum also played well, getting three service aces and 14 service points.
Heading into Saturday's matchups at Crook County and at Redmond, Edwards said her team will need to develop greater consistency and keep the momentum swinging their way.
"I think when we have opportunities to pull away, we need to make sure to capitalize on those opportunities, and I don't think we did that (against The Dalles)," she said.