ATHENA - Winning teams aren't winning teams because they go out with their "A" game every night. Winning teams are winning teams because they don't have to play at the top of their game to come away with a victory.

The Weston-McEwen TigerScots were a perfect example of this Saturday, defeating the Umatilla Vikings 25-15, 25-12, 25-19 in Columbia Basin Conference volleyball.

"We did not play well," TigerScots coach Shawn White said. "We didn't play very well at all."

The Vikings were able to grab early leads in all three games, only to see Weston-McEwen come storming back to earn the victory.

In the first game, Umatilla held an 8-6 advantage and were within two points midway through the game, trailing 13-11, but a service ace by Shellie Schoonover helped ignite a 9-3 TigerScot run as Weston-McEwen took the victory.

A late 10-0 run in the second game propelled Weston-McEwen to victory and the TigerScots rallied from an 18-14 deficit in the third game to score 11 of the next 12 points to put away the Vikings.

"We didn't fuel a lot of those runs," White said. "Umatilla made some mistakes that helped us. The upside is that we didn't make mistakes during those runs and allowed them to continue."

Kayla Johnson, Jordan Alford and Vicki Post tied for the team lead with six kills each, while Kayla Paredes added five. Susanna Bonifer led the way with 12 assists and was 22 of 22 serving with three aces. Darcy Thompson added nine assists.

"We only had one missed serve and that's a positive," White said. "That's a big difference in the match. That's one whole phase of the game that we only made one error in."

The TigerScots (6-0 CBC) will play five of their final seven matches on the road, beginning with Thursday's match at Stanfield.

"We're going to be road warriors from now on, which isn't a bad thing," White said. "If we make postseason play, districts are at Sherman and any place we go after that is on the road. It's just another step in our progression."

Umatilla (0-6 CBC) visits Culver Thursday.

Allen Moody can be reached at (800) 522-0255 (ext. 1248) or by e-mail amoody@eastoregonian.com.

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