The Joseph volleyball team defeated Echo in five sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 10-25, 15-10) in the first match of the Old Oregon League District Tournament in La Grande on Saturday to clinch a berth in the state tournament that begins next week.
The Eagles (20-6, 11-3) later fell in four sets (21-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-12) to Powder Valley in the district title game.
As a result, Joseph is the district’s No. 2 seed and will host Ione (10-15, 7-7), the No. 3 seed from the Big Sky League, at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the state tournament.
The Badgers (20-4, 12-2), who defeated Griswold in four sets in the tournament’s other early semifinal, are the Old Oregon League’s No. 1 seed and will have a bye in the first round of the state tournament.
Sophomore Emma Hite had 10 kills and five blocks against Echo. Senior Haven Johnson had nine kills, and senior Ally Cooney added seven.
Junior Alexis Sykora had a team-high eight blocks. Senior Johnelle Suto had a team-high 21 assists, and senior Taylor Grote led the team in serving aces.
“The girls had some ups and downs with momentum against Echo,” said coach Jill Hite. “It went back and forth in the fifth set until we were 10-10, then the momentum switched to us. Emma stepped back to serve four straight points to get us to 14-10, then game-point serve floated out. But we received their serve and Johnelle set it up for Ally Cooney to finish the match with a kill.”
Echo (22-7, 11-3) defeated Joseph twice in a pair of close five-set regular-season matches and entered the district tournament as one of the favorites to advance. However, the Cougars suffered a season-ending, three-set loss to Griswold (18-10, 8-6) in Saturday’s third-place game. The Grizzlies will travel to play Adrian — the No. 2 seed from the High Desert League — on Wednesday night.
In the loss to Powder Valley, Cooney led Joseph with eight kills, Hite had three and Johnson had two. Sykora again led in blocks with five, while Cooney led in serving aces with three and sophomore Tori Suto had two.
The Eagles’ Johnson and Sykora were named to the district all-tournament team.
Following first-round games at No. 2-seed sites Wednesday, second-round games will take place on No. 1-seed sights Saturday before the 16-team final tournament Nov. 4-5 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
Enterprise traveled to La Grande for the 2A Wapiti League district volleyball tournament on Friday. The Outlaws (8-14, 2-6) went 1-1 on the day, but did not qualify for the state tournament.
In the opening match, Enterprise defeated Elgin 25-22, 25-22, 25-16. It was the Outlaws’ third win over the Huskies this season, and in those three matches Enterprise won all but one set.
With the win over Elgin, the Outlaws faced Union for the district’s No. 3 seed and a trip to the state tournament.
The Bobcats took a three-set (25-20, 25-16, 25-20) victory over Enterprise to claim the No. 3 seed.
Grant Union won the tournament, and Imbler advances as the district’s No. 2 seed.
Joseph’s up-and-down season continued Friday as the Eagles traveled to Halfway and secured a season-saving 58-22 victory over Pine Eagle. With the win, Joseph (4-4, 3-2) earned a league playoff game set for 6 p.m. at Adrian (3-4, 2-1), with the winner clinching a spot in the 16-team state playoffs.
No statistics from the game were provided.
The Eagles have earned dominant victories every other week throughout the season, while losing by large margins during the other weeks. They’ll look to break that pattern on the road against Adrian.
What looked like a promising Wallowa football season at summer’s end came to a crashing halt with a 74-20 road loss to league leader Powder Valley (7-1, 5-0) on Friday.
The Badgers jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back. They had two rushing touchdowns and three passing TDs in the first quarter alone to take a 38-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
Wallowa’s lone score in the first quarter came on a 66-yard run by Austin Brockamp, who also scored on a six-yard run early in the second quarter.
Travis Haga scored the Cougars’ only other touchdown on a seven-yard run in the fourth quarter. He also carried the ball on the successful two-point conversion that followed.
Brockamp rushed for 179 yards on 16 carries. Haga added 155 yards on 18 carries, and Patrick Ritthaler ran for 36 yards on seven carries.
Ethan Burns led the defense with four tackles and a pair of sacks, while Brockamp and Sam Hilliard each recorded three tackles.
The Badgers’ offense gained 344 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. Hilliard swiped the Cougars’ only interception on the night.
Wallowa (2-6, 1-4) advance to the state quarterfinals in 2015 and looked like a state contender early in 2016. However, a wave of injuries, including a season-ending foot injury to starting sophomore quarterback Gus Ramsden, proved insurmountable. The team’s two victories came at home against Adrian, 32-6 on Sept. 9, and on the road against Cove, 78-12 on Oct. 14.