By Gerry Steele
The third time proved to be the charm for Powder Valley Saturday at the Class 1A state volleyball championship at Ridgeview High School at Redmond.
The Badgers, Class 1A runnersup the past two seasons, finally claimed their first volleyball title with a 25-18, 15-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12 win over Old Oregon League foe Imbler.
The Badgers (24-2) finished the season on a 21-match wining streak, including four victories over Imbler.
Powder Valley was playing in its third straight 1A title match, having lost to Cove and Ione the past two seasons.
Powder and Imbler split the first four games Saturday. It was the second straight time Imbler has pushed the Badgers to five games.
In the deciding game, Powder Valley trailed 11-7 before mounting a comeback.
Behind an ace serve from Jenna Aldrich, three kills from Ali Abrego and one from McKinsey Hampton, the Badgers rallied to take a 14-11 lead.
Powder Valley then used an Imbler miscue to earn the match point.
Jessica Pedro and Abrego combined for 46 kills and two blocks for the winners.
Alexandra Colton added 46 assists and 11 digs. Aldrich chipped in 10 digs.
Powder Valley opened tournament play Friday with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-15 victory over Yoncalla.
Then, in the semifinals, Powder Valley stopped St. Paul 27-25, 25-19, 25-17.