Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

LA GRANDE - Powder Valley claimed the Old Oregon League district volleyball championship Saturday, and with it the league's No. 1 state berth at the Class 1A tournament.

Powder Valley defeated Imbler 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 25-13, 15-13 for the title.

"It was a grueling five-game match and Powder Valley showed up to work," said Powder coach Lasa Baxter.

Ali Abrego, who had missed the previous two matches with a back injury, had a strong presence on the floor in the title match, Baxter said.

The Badgers' coach said Jessica Pedro, Alexandra Colton and Jessi Stephens also were key players.

"Their ability to remain calm and continue to put the ball in the right locations for dominating hitters Pedro and Abrego helped seal the deal on the match," Baxter said.

Pedro ended the deciding fifth game off a quick middle set from Colton and slammed the ball to the floor.

"All players contributed and we saw strong passing defense from all players with Stephens leading with 14 digs," Baxter said.

Pedro and Abrego each added 13 digs, Britni Bobo 10, McKinsey Hampton nine and Jenna Aldrich six.

Stephens was 18-of-20 serving with 14 digs and five assists. Bobo was 7-for-8 serving with 10 digs and a kill. Abrego was 16-of-16 serving with 13 digs and 14 kills. Pedro was 10-of-12 serving with 13 digs and 27 kills. Colton was 8-for-9 serving with three digs and 39 assists. Hampton was 18-for-22 serving with nine digs, two assists and four kills.

"These ladies have been determined about their final destination this season," Baxter said.

Abrego and Pedro were named to the all-tournament team.

Powder Valley reached the title match after defeating Cove 25-12, 25-14, 25-15 in the semifinals.

Stephens was 14-of-15 serving with seven aces, five digs, five assists and a kill. Bobo was 7-for-7 serving with three digs.

Abrego was 18-of-21 serving with three aces, two digs and seven kills. Pedro was 9-for-9 serving with two digs and 27 kills. Colton was 5-of-6 serving with 32 assists. Hampton was 6-of-8 serving with three digs and two kills.

The Badgers will host the winner of a Wednesday match between Mountain Valley No. 3 and High Desert No. 2 Saturday at North Powder.