by Randy Parks
The Burns volleyball team clinched the Wapiti League title with a four-set home victory over the Union Bobcats on Thursday, Oct. 16.
The Hilanders dropped the first set 22-25, and came back to win the next three 25-22, 25-17, 2515.
The Bobcats took advantage of a sluggish start by Burns in the first set to get out to a 6-1 lead. Union maintained the lead throughout until a late rally by the Hilanders tied the score at 21-21. Union won the next point and went on to get the three-point win.
The second set saw the two teams trade the lead several times until, with the score knotted at 18-18, Burns reeled off four straight points to take command and, eventually, the win.
Down 8-11 in the third game, Burns scored nine points in a row to go up by six, and the Bobcats never got closer than five the rest of the way.
With victory within their grasp, the Hilanders got out to a 14-8 lead in the fourth set. Union never got closer than four, and with a 20-15 advantage, Burns closed out the match on a 5-0 run.
The Hilanders traveled to Elgin Saturday, Oct. 18, for matches with Elgin and Cove, and with victories over both teams, Burns finished with a perfect 12-0 league record.
The Hilanders made short work of Elgin, winning in three sets, 25-8, 25-16, 25-12.
Burns also swept Cove, 25-18, 25-18, 25-17.
The Hilanders finished their regular season schedule by hosting Ontario in a non-conference match Tuesday, Oct. 21. Results of the match were not available by press time.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, Burns competes in the district tournament in Cove. The Hilanders locked up a state tournament berth by winning the Wapiti League, and the district will determine the state seeding.
The 2A state volleyball tournament will be held Nov. 7-8 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
The Hilanders lost a tough, five-set non-conference match to Vale on Tuesday, Oct. 14.
The Hilanders outlasted the Vikings 26-24 in the first set, and then lost the next two 18-25 and 9-25. Burns settled down in the fourth set and came away with a 25-22 win. In the fifth, and deciding set, Burns came up short 11-15.
The Hilander offense was led by Catherine Clemens with 21 kills out of the team’s 38. Taylor Crafts added eight and Madison Carson six.
Crafts and Carson combined for 25 blocks, with 15 and 10, respectively. Abby Nonnenmacher had eight blocks and Carli Feist and Kaylea Friedrichsen five apiece.
Burns recorded 125 digs over the course of the five sets, with Madison Woodworth getting 37 and Clemens 31. Friedrichsen added another 22, Feist 15, Baylee Hanner nine and Mariah Ribeiro eight.
Ribeiro was the team leader in assists with 24, and Feist had eight.