Megan Lee (left) and Jordan Long go up for the block in Burns’ win over Riverside. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)
Hilanders secure playoff spot
By Randy Parks
The Burns volleyball team clinched at least a tie for the Eastern Oregon League (EOL) title by defeating both Riverside and Umatilla on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The victories give the Hilanders a 7-0 EOL record with only one league match left to play.
The Hilanders opened up their home doubleheader by sweeping Riverside 25-5, 25-18, 25-17.
Burns dominated all three games, getting out to comfortable leads and allowing head coach Paula Toney to rotate in a number of players off the bench.
The Burns JV won their match in two games, 25-9, 25-20.
The Hilanders also won their second match of the day in three games, sweeping Umatilla 25-19, 25-16, 25-18.
Burns will wrap up EOL play on Thursday, Oct. 25, when they travel to Nyssa to take on the Bulldogs.
The Hilanders pulled out a five-game win over Vale on Thursday, Oct. 18, essentially locking up a playoff spot while knocking the Vikings out of playoff contention.
Burns won 25-22, 25-22, 9-25, 22-25, 15-11.
The victory kept Burns perfect in Eastern Oregon League play with a 5-0 record and dropped Vale to 2-4.
The Hilanders took the lead early in the first game, breaking out to a 12-7 lead. The Vikings came back to tie the game at 12-12. The game see-sawed back and forth until Burns took the lead for good at 18-17 and held on for the three-point win.
Burns trailed early in the second game and came back to tie the score at 13-13. The Hilanders never led by more than two until back-to-back kill shots by Jordan Long and Charli Siegner gave them a 24-21 lead.
The two team then traded points giving Burns the win.
Vale dominated the third game on their way to the win. Leading 9-8, the Vikings outscored Burns 16-1 for the comfortable win.
The fourth game saw Vale lead for the majority of the time, and they held off a late rally by Burns to tie the match at two games apiece.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the fifth and deciding match, Long delivered a kill shot that seemed to energize the Hilander squad. They then rattled off three more points to go up 6-2.
The Hilanders saw their lead cut to two at 9-7, but they then scored the next three points and carried the momentum on through for the win.
Siegner recorded 18 of the team’s 36 kills, and Long added another nine.
Burns finished with seven aces, led by Baylee Hanner with four and Erika Bentz with two.
Kayla McConnell led the team in assists with 26.
The Hilanders came up with 76 digs in the match, led by Bentz with 20, McConnell 18, Hanner 16 and Madison Woodworth 11.
The Burns JV team lost to Vale 25-27, 15-25.
In non-conference action on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Hilanders lost in four games to Grant Union 22-25, 21-25, 25-13, 21-25.