Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Consistency has been a Baker volleyball problem all season long. And, it came up and bit the Bulldogs Saturday against Scappoose.

The visiting Indians headed back across the state with a 26-24, 17-25, 25-13, 25-20 victory over Baker in the Class 4A state play-in match on the Baker floor.

"We made some amazing saves, but overall we were inconsistent," said Baker coach Michele McCauley.

"Scappoose was a team we should have been able to beat, but we just didn't do it."

Baker rode the serving of Michelle Birkmaier, Liz Wulk and Monica Voboril to a 6-2 lead early in the first game.

Then, trailing 7-5, Scappoose's Phlycia Haigh served five points to give the Indians a 10-7 edge.

Scappoose maintained the lead until Birkmaier pulled Baker into a 14-14 tie.

The game was tied at 16, 18, 20 and 21 before Michelle Freese served Baker on top 24-21.

But, Baker couldn't get the winning point. Scappoose rallied with five straight points to take the game.

Baker led 14-11 in Game 2 before Birkmaier and Wulk combined to serve the Bulldogs up 22-13.

This time Scappoose pulled back to within seven points, but served the match-tying point into the net.

Scappoose dominated Game 3, pulling away from a 4-4 tie and never looking back.

The Indians then constructed an 8-point lead, 20-13, in the fourth game before Baker rallied.

Wulk served the Bulldogs back to within 20-17. Voboril and Birkmaier then served the Bulldogs to within 23-20. But Baker could get no closer.

Wulk finished 24-of-25 serving. Birkmaier was 22-of-25 serving and had 19 assists.

Freese had 10 kills. Taylor McAdams had eight kills, as did Voboril.

Abi Smith was 10-for-10 servin with five kills. Ashley McConniel added 11 assists.

Baker finished its season 11-8 overall.