By Gerry Steele
HALFWAY - Pine-Eagle's volleyball team had a busy weekend, playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Spartans hosted Cove on Thursday, losing 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-12.
"The girls played very well and their serving was basically the determining factor in the first game," said Pine-Eagle coach Jenny Gulick.
"They had no missed serves in this game with seven ace serves. They dropped off the next three games although they played very well as a team. The kids worked hard and I was proud of how they played. They are really starting to gel and get more scrappy. "
Jamie Butler finished with 11 assists, and three ace serves. Sierra Saunders had two kills, and a block. Haylie Kuta had two kills and two blocks. Celisa Digges had four kills and three aces. Kylie Davis had an ace serve. Lacey Walker had a kill and an ace serve. Hannah Tanaka had two kills and a block.
Pine-Eagle hosted Wallowa Friday for Homecoming, losing 21-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-18, 25-9.
"We had some really good vollies with Wallowa. It was some fun volleyball to watch," Gulick said.
" The kids won the first game 25-21. That really got them pumped. They only missed one serve in that game. Celisa was really on with hitting and had a great couple of games. Jamie does a really good job of trying to get all the girls the opportunity to hit but I told her to feed Celisa as she was on her game. When a kid is on you should give them the ball just like basketball," Gulick said.
"All the girls were playing well and were really communicating and hustling. Hannah had some awesome serves and Jami Pallan had a couple of great saves showing some super hustle as our libero. The last couple of games against Wallowa we missed some serves at crucial times and lost our momentum. It was a real heart-breaker as the girls knew they should have won. Hopefully we will get another chance to play them for district seeding."
Butler had 19 assists, 1 ace serve. Saunders had 2 blocks, a kill, and an ace serve. Digges had 8 kills, 4 ace serves. Kuta had 4 blocks, 4 kills, 1 ace serve. Walker had 3 kills and Tanaka 5 ace serves and 2 kills.
Saturday the Spartans traveled to Cambridge to play in a tournament.
"The girls were still realing from their loss and we were also missing Jamie Butler as she had a family event. Jami Pallan did a good job setting for us but we just couldn't get going," Gulick said.
The Spartans lost all three games in pool play and played Green Leaf in the consolation bracket.
"We lost the first game and won the next and had a good lead in the final game and then Jami twisted her ankle...although Celisa gave it a go at setting until Jami could get taped and back in the game, we ended up losing as the third game only goes to 15 and we didn't have enough time to pull out the win," the Spartans' coach said.
Gulick said the Spartans raised $75 during Thursday's match with Cove, which was Pine-Eagle's "Pink Night" to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
Gulick said the money will be donated to the Susan B. Komen fund and hopefully a grant fund that will be used locally to sponsor mammograms for those in need.
Pine-Eagle completes its regular season Friday by traveling to Joseph.
District play-in matches are scheduled Oct. 23. The district tournament will be Oct. 26 at La Grande High School.