Five teams met for some glorified scrimmages on Friday at Pendletons Warberg Court, but that didnt mean they checked their pride at the door.
The Pendleton Jamboree featured Class 5A host Pendleton as well as 4A La Grande and Baker, and 2A Pilot Rock and Weston-McEwen in a series of sets played to 25 points.
Anybody doubting the intensity these teams would bring to the court after just two weeks of practice needed only watch Pilot Rock as it downed league foe Weston-McEwen 25-17 in its third set of the day.
Weston-McEwen, which lost most of its conference-championship roster to graduation, was unable to match an emotional Rockets squad that is looking to continue its progress under third-year coach Elainna Howland.
We were pretty excited, Howland said. The girls were a little bit nervous seeing some of these taller girls coming into the gym. But I just told them, Today is just about fun, none of this counts toward our record. They went out there and they owned it.
The Rockets were unable to pick up any other wins, but their 25-18 and 25-23 losses to La Grande and Pendleton, respectively, showed the team is headed in the right direction.
We had a lot of digs and I really think thats what held us in with these bigger schools, Howland said.
Tehya Ostrom led the defensive effort with 24 digs, and Bekah Roe paced the net attack with nine kills.
Spent from its thrilling win over Weston-McEwen, Pilot Rock was downed 25-12 by Baker to end the day.
The Rockets will play their first full matches of the season today at the Grant Union Invitational.
WESTON-MCEWEN 25, PENDLETON 18 At Pendleton, the TigerScots (1-1) split their sets at the Pendleton Jamboree on Friday.
They began with a win over Baker 25-17 before toppling the host squad. The final two sets of the day were losses as Weston-McEwen was clipped by Columbia Basin Conference foe Pilot Rock, 25-17, and then fell to La Grande 25-21.
Serving was a bright spot for the TigerScots again, and Ali Schroeder, Katie Schroeder and Madison Carlin combined to serve 37 for 39 with Carlin adding four aces.
Ali Schroeder also led the team with 16 assists on the day and Lacey Kuehn led Weston-McEwen with seven kills.
Kayla Peterson added a team-high nine blocks with her five kills and Keegan Shepard contributed four kills and three aces.
The TigerScots, which opened their season with a pair of matches on Thursday, will get back into match play today at the Grant Union Invitational.
HELIX 26, RIVERSIDE 24 At Umatilla, the Helix Grizzlies got their first look at the teams new lineups at the Umatilla Jamboree on Friday.
The Grizzlies won four sets to 25 with three freshmen starters, also beating Umatilla 25-22, Heppner 25-19 and Stanfield 15-14.
Statistics were not kept, but coach Tammie Parker said she didnt need them to know it was a good start to the season.
WE felt really good about it. Its a great way to start, she said. Were pretty young ... but they did a great job and we just think that well keep improving.
The Grizzlies play their first full match on Thursday, Sept. 4, when they host Riverside at 4 p.m.
HEPPNER 25, STANFIELD 21 At Umatilla, the Heppner Mustangs eased their way into the fall season with a trio of 25-point sets at the Umatilla Jamboree on Friday.
The Mustangs rebounded their 25-19 defeat by Helix to top Stanfield and Riverside, 25-19.
Maddie Lindsay was the teams top attacker on Friday with 10 kills total, and Kelly Wilson finished with 10 assists. Wilson also had six aces and four kills.
Coach Dieter Waites
The Mustangs will test themselves in full matches today as they head to the Grant Union Invitational in John Day.