Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Baker moved back into second place in the Greater Oregon League volleyball standings Thursday after stopping Mac-Hi 25-15, 25-21, 25-14 in the Baker gym.

The Bulldogs are 3-2 in the standings, a half-game ahead of Ontario (3-3).

Baker hosts La Grande (5-0) Tuesday in their final regular-season GOL match. If Baker can defeat the Tigers, the Bulldogs will keep second place in the final standings. If Baker loses to La Grande, the Bulldogs and Ontario would play off on Oct. 29.

Mac-Hi (0-6) did not win a set in league play.

Baker used solid serving and overcame inconsistent hitting against the Pioneers.

Michelle Freese was 17-for-17 serving with three aces. LaKalyn Thomas was 12-for-12 serving with four aces. Makenna Bachman was 14-for-14 serving.

Thomas came off th ebench in two games to spark the serving.

"She's our serving specialist," said Baker coach Michele McCauley.

The Baker coach was not pleased with the Bulldogs' hitting against Mac-Hi.

"We hit the ball very well against Ontario, then today came back and hit inconsistent," McCauley said.

Freese led Baker with seven kills. Kate Averett added five, Michelle Lehman and Kylie Severson four each, and Kayla Davis three.

Dani McCauley added 11 assists and six digs. Lehman had three digs. Bachman had seven assists and six digs.

Baker broke a 2-2 tie in the first game and never trailed after that.

The Bulldogs forged a 6-point lead in the second game only to have Mac-Hi battle back to take a 19-18 edge.

Bachman then served Baker ahead 21-19. The Bulldogs then kept a slim margin until Thomas served an ace for the winning point.

Baker led just 6-5 early in Game 3, and again Thomas came off the bench to serve the Bulldogs ahead 10-5.

The closest Mac-Hi could get the rest of the way was three points.

Baker swept the preliminary matches.

The Bulldogs won the JV match 25-18, 25-10, and the frosh/soph match 25-7, 25-13.