Stanfield v Heppner Volleyball

Stanfield volleyball players celebrate with members of the crowd following their win over Heppner on Oct. 22, 2019, at Stanfield High School. The Tigers placed second at the Blue Mountain Conference tournament Saturday to earn a trip to state.

UNION — Twenty-nine years is a long time.

In 1990, there were no cellphones or email, and gas was $1.15 a gallon. It also was the last time the Stanfield volleyball team advanced to the state tournament.

That drought is over after the Tigers earned the Blue Mountain Conference’s No. 2 seed to the 2A state playoffs Saturday afternoon.

“They are really excited,” Stanfield coach Blaine Ganvoa said of his team. “This is what they have been trying to achieve.”

The Tigers will have to wait until Tuesday night to learn their first-round opponent. Being a No. 2 seed, Stanfield will play on the road.

A win Saturday would send the Tigers to the final eight Nov. 8-9 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.

The Tigers (19-8 overall) opened play Saturday with an 18-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-21 victory over Grant Union, putting them in the title game against Union and earning a spot in the state playoffs.

“In the first set, we had a different lineup,” Ganvoa said. “In the second, we went back to our regular lineup and did our thing.”

Freshman Zuri Reeser led the Tigers with 17 kills and 18 digs, while Kendra Hart added nine kills and six digs. Brooke Howland had six kills and 21 digs; Savannah Sharp 18 digs and 15 assists; and Brielle Howland five kills, two blocks and 14 assists.

Stanfield faced Union in the title match, falling to the Bobcats 25-14, 25-7, 25-21.

“We had never been in that position before,” Ganvoa said. “We had to shake off the nerves, and we weren’t attacking as much.”

Reeser had nine kills and 14 digs to lead the Tigers, while Alexis Shelby had seven blocks. Brooke Howland had 15 digs; Sharp 11 assists; and Brielle Howland five digs and five assists.

Union (21-3) will host a state playoff game Saturday. The Bobcats will find out who their opponent is Tuesday night.

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