As of Thursday, September 10, 2015
After an 0-2 start to the regular season, the No. 10-ranked Dufur volleyball team has appeared to hit its stride with its third consecutive victory Tuesday against 2A Heppner.
Tianna Ellis had 11 kills, Emily DePriest added three digs and two aces and Chloe Beeson dropped seven kills and two aces to pace the Lady Rangers.
Dufur had to endure a two-hour bus ride and Heppner took advantage in the opening set with a 25-20 win to go ahead 1-0.
The Rangers steadily found their rhythm on the court and delivered a 25-17 win in the second game to even the match up at 1-apiece.
Now with momentum on its side, Dufur went on to win the next two games by scores of 25-19 and 25-18 to keep the winning streak intact.
“We started slow, but the girls picked it up and started playing consistent after that,” said Dufur coach Jody Weaver. “They made a lot of effort plays. They were all over the court ready to make plays.”
Karaline Johnson added four kills and a block, Sydney Reed had double-digit assists and had two digs, and both Beeson and Ellis tallied a blocked shot each.
Riding a streak of dominant wins over Cove, Lowell and Heppner, the Rangers will continue to iron out some details this weekend at the Helix Tournament before stepping on the floor for the start of Big Sky Conference action at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Maupin versus South Wasco County.
“I am definitely excited about where they are headed,” Weaver said. “I saw some things, one of them was our girls made some adjustments during the game, which is great because it shows me that they are really thinking and moving themselves forward. As a coach, that is always great to see.”
Dufur’s first tournament match in Griswold is at 9:20 a.m. on Saturday.
SWC netters gaining ground
In what head coach Donna Barton said was the best match her team played all season, the South Wasco County Redsides lost in three games Tuesday in a non-league contest at Lyle, Wash.
“The team was smoother and getting better at working together,” Barton said.
Lyle won the opening set by its largest margin on the night with a 25-18 outcome.
SWC then bounced back in the last two sets, losing by an average of three points, as Lyle completed its sweep by scores of 26-24 and 25-21.
Ally Muhleman went 9 of 9 from the service line, and the duo of Allie Noland and Baily Hogenkamp combined to connect on 22 of 24 serve tries.
“The attacks were spread around with no one getting a great amount of kills,” Barton said. “Lyle plays very good defense and it just didn't seem like we could find a hole anywhere. There were some great rallies and good hustle plays on both sides.”
SWC (0-3 overall) heads to Monument tonight for a match versus Dayville-Monument, so this gives Barton one final look at her depth chart to see which parts fit best in certain roles.
The roster of three seniors, a junior and six freshmen is still on an upward trend according to their coach.
“Our young players are getting better and starting to figure it out, each game improving, though we have a ways to go,” Barton said.