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Joseph’s Maggie Miller (3) makes a play on the ball in front of teammate Cooper Nave (16) during the Eagles’ match against Echo Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at home. Joseph won the match in five sets.

JOSEPH — The Joseph Eagles won a thriller in their home opener on the volleyball court.

Molly Curry had a team-best nine kills and also had nine digs, and the Eagles rallied twice to top Echo in five sets Friday, Sept. 3, 13-25, 25-23, 25-27, 25-21, 15-13.

The final set alone was indicative of how close the match was, as the teams tied five times and changed leads four times. In the final set, Joseph seemed to take control with a 6-1 run, capped by a Curry kill and two errors by Echo to go ahead 9-6.

The Cougars responded with the next five points, taking an 11-9 lead after a Nevaeh Thew kill and a Faith McCarty ace.

Joseph, though, scored the next five points to pull ahead for good. An ace by Aimee Meyers put the Eagles ahead, and kills by Sarah Orr and Abby Orr pushed the lead to 14-11. Joseph took the match three points later when an Echo serve went long.

The Eagles recovered from a rough first set to take an eight-point lead in the second before holding on to square the match. Joseph then seemed primed to pull ahead when a Meyers kill gave them a five-point lead at 19-14 late in the third set.

Echo recovered, then took the lead at 25-24 after two Joseph error. Emma Orr’s block tied the score, but the ensuing serve by Joseph went long and Charlei Harwood’s serve clipped the net and fell in for an ace for the set and the lead.

The Eagles were never truly threatened in the fourth set, building a quick double-digit lead and sending the match to the final set.

Meyers had five kills, 17 digs for Joseph, and was one of five players with at least 10 digs. Cooper Nave led the Eagles with 20 digs, McKenzie Keffer had 19, and Abby Orr and Maggie Miller had 14 each. Emma and Sarah Orr, meanwhile, each had four blocks.

On Saturday, the Eagles competed at the Cat Clash in Echo and Stanfield, defeating Elgin and Irrigon in pool play and losing to Stanfield, then in bracket play defeating Wallowa in two sets and losing to Union in three sets.

In pool play, Keffer tallied 10 aces. Curry had 14 kills and 13 digs, Meyers had a team-best 20 digs and Nave had nine kills and 16 digs. Abby Orr added 11 digs. Later in bracket play, Nave had 10 kills and 13 digs. Miller had 13 digs, Meyers had 10 digs and three aces and both Sarah Orr and Curry had five kills.

The Eagles (4-2 overall) visits Union Wednesday and hosts Cove Thursday.

Enterprise wins twice, then takes third at tourney

The Enterprise Outlaws won matches last week against Griswold and Wallowa, then took third place at the Prairie City Tournament over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Enterprise swept Griswold on the road, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15.

The Outlaws had played a pool play set against the Grizzlies earlier in the day and lost, so head coach Lisa Farwell was pleased with the team’s response.

“We were playing with only seven gals, so our lineup was limited,” she said. We showed some good composure to take the match in three sets after we’d lost to Helix in pool play in one set.”

On Thursday, the Outlaws showed more composure, dominating the final two sets of the match to defeat Wallowa in four sets, 25-19, 17-25, 25-11, 25-12.

In the match, Maci Marr had eight kills and Jada Gray added six kills. Both also served up five aces.

On Saturday in pool play, the Outlaws dropped two sets to Prairie City/Burnt River, defeated Mitchell/Spray/Wheeler in two sets, split two sets with Adrian, and dropped two sets to Ione/Arlington. Later in match play, Enterprise defeated Mitchell/Spray/Wheeler, lost to Adrian and bounced back to top Ione/Arlington.

“We are improving with every set,” Farwell said. “My girls are gaining confidence as they gain experience with what’s already our second lineup of the season. Rilyn Kirkland and Bri Rouse are handling setting duties and are hustling all the time — their work ethic has been awesome. We played 16 sets in one day, so exhaustion set in, but the team kept pushing in our last match and came out on top. I was really proud of them.”

The Outlaws (5-2 overall) hosted Cove Tuesday, Sept. 7, then host Prairie City/Burnt River Saturday, Sept. 11.

Cougars open play

Wallowa dropped its first match of the season to Enterprise Thursday, Sept. 1, then competed in the Cat Clash Saturday, Sept. 4, in Echo and Stanfield.

The Cougars dropped matches to Union and Joseph in bracket play. The rest of the results were not available.

Wallowa (0-3 overall) visited Imbler Tuesday, hosts Pilot Rock Thursday and plays both Pine Eagle and Elgin in Halfway Saturday.

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