The Wallowa Cougars' den (gym) proved a hospitable venue for the Joseph Eagles volleyball team as the Cougs fell to the Eagles in three straight sets. Scores to the Tuesday, Oct. 15 match were 26-24, 25-22 and 25-23.
The last meeting between the two saw the Cougars coming out on top in a five-set match, mainly through their superiority at the net. Not so on Tuesday's match.
While the scores appear close, the results of the final two sets in particular were not surprisingly. While the Cougars show occasional flashes of brilliance, their normal brilliance at the net appeared somewhat subdued and tentative, when push came to shove.
When the chips were down, the Eagles put their heads down and went to work, with junior phenom, Sabrina Albee, often coming out of nowhere for the kill. The Cougs staged several rallies, for example, leading the final set at 17-12 before the team collapsed and the Eagles snatched away the victory. Inconsistency killed the Cougs.
Jamie Johnston had 17 kills, 10 blocks, 55 digs while showing court leadership and worked hard to keep up team intensity. Shanna Rae Tillery smoked 10 kills, with many strong hits along with 65 digs, and 13 strong serves.
Ella Moeller put up good defense with 24 digs and 14 tough serves while Ashlyn Young had 45 digs, and worked hard at setting.
Wallowa Coach, Jane Hulse, called the battle an intense match with neither team getting a good lead on the other as both struggled to win the match. Hulse noted Joseph played hard while the Cougs had a few too many errors. "I still believe that we played well, just couldn't get the win," she said.
Sabrina Albee led the Eagles with 13 kills, three blocks and six assists while Madelyn Nelson served up three kills, five blocks and six assists. Camille Crenshaw notched two kills and seven digs.
"I was extremely proud of all the girls of playing one point at a time," Coach Jill Hite said. "They really came together last night and played as a team."