Learn the hard way

<I>Hector del Castillo/Chieftain</I>

This season is a crash course.

Joseph High School's volleyball team lost both of its matches, while the young girls - only five played last year - continued gaining experience necessary for them to become successful in the future. The Eagles challenged their local rivals in Enterprise on Sept. 21 before falling in three games, 16-25, 22-25 and 14-25. Four days later, back home in Joseph, the Eagles dropped their first meeting against an opponent in Old Oregon. Pine Eagle dealt the decisions, 18-25, 16-25 and 15-25. However, Joseph remained enthusiastic.

"We've meshed together pretty well," said senior Jesse Kohlhepp, who totaled 21 digs and seven kills over the week. "We're trying to figure out what each one of us can do."

Joseph finished the weekend with its record in the district at 0-1.

The Eagles put up a good fight at Enterprise. After the home team jumped out to an early advantage in the first game, Joseph made a couple of big comebacks. They climbed to within a point, before the Outlaws' overpowering finish. The second game was tight, from beginning to end. Neither side ever managed to lead by more than one or two points, until Enterprise finally pulled away in the closing volleys.

For the Eagles, senior Emily Howerton managed to score three aces and five digs. Junior Ali Garrett had eight digs, two aces and a couple of assists.

"We had good moments during the match and a lot of rallies, but I don't think we played up to our potential," coach Breanna Stephens said. "Enterprise came ready to win, and we couldn't get in a groove all night. Tough loss, but it's all about learning and moving forward."

Against Pine Eagle, Joseph struggled with its serves. However, freshman Breanna Gibson contributed 10 digs, two kills. Junior Jade DeLury had six digs.

Joseph also hosted Wallowa for a Sept. 28 match. It happened too late for this edition of the Chieftain.

Next, the Eagles will play Oct. 1 at home against Cove. The following day, they will drive down to North Powder.

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