Wallowa varsity volleyball team swept Elgin 3-0 Sept. 14 in Elgin. Set scores were 25-14, 25-16 and 25-17.
“The Elgin game was a big step in the right direction for us,” said coach Janea Hulse.
Wallowa had lost matchups with Enterprise, South Wasco County, Jordan Valley, Joseph, Union and Powder Valley prior to Elgin win.
Shannarae Tillery lead the team in kills against Elgin with 10 and added three solo blocks.
Defensively Ella Moeller keeps getting more aggressive and is picking up more balls while Tillery improves with each game on defense and offense, Hulse noted.
“The team has been working hard to cover the top areas and communicate better with each other about where the holes are at in our opponents’ side,” Hulse added.
She singled out Rylee Goller as a consistent player who keeps her teammates motivated.
“I’m very proud of her commitment to this team,” Hulse said. “We got down a few times against Elgin and she was a player who kept her teammates on check and in the game.”
Wallowa played in the Badger Tournament at Powder Valley Sept. 15 and came away with a 2-0 win over Pine Eagle and a 0-2 loss to Powder Valley.
“I saw a lot of improvement in this tournament,” Hulse said. “We played a lot of different teams and had to adjust to many different offenses, and these girls adjusted well and battled through out the day.”
Top players were Riley Ferré and Ashlyn Young.
“They led well, and the rest of the team fed off of this and worked well together,” the coach said.
Wallowa fell 2-3 against Cove on Sept. 20. The Cougars bested Cove 25-19 and 25-21 and lost three matches 25-21, 25-14 and 15-9.
“We started out with high intensity and then fell flat,” Hulse said. “A couple mistakes early in the fourth set seemed to overtake the girls.”
Bailey Hafer played her best game of the season, Hulse said. She had a total of 18 digs, 3 kills and many controlled hits. Rylee Goller picked up 30 digs and 6 kills
Wallowa played Adrian and Jordan Valley on Friday and spent Saturday at the Badger Tournament in Powder Valley.
Adrian bested Wallowa in three of four sets, 25-18, 25-13 and 26-24. Wallowa won the first set 26-16.
The Cougars faced Nixyaawii in their first tournament game and came up 0-3.
Hulse singled out Ella Moeller, the team’s libero, as a key player.
“She is learning to look for the holes in our opponents defense and talk to the hitters,” Hulse said. “She is doing great at it which leads to more success of our hitters.
Tillery had 10 kills and Ferré 7.
Next up was Helix. The Cougars won in three sets.
Ashlyn Young had 30 assists, 18 digs and 8 kills.
“This team stepped out on the court on Saturday as a new team,” Hulse said. “They were down mentally from the previous days, but they came back fighting. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They gave everything they had on Saturday.”