Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Baker proved to be its own worst enemy Saturday in a Class 4A volleyball play-in match with Sutherlin in the Baker gym.

For every good thing Baker did it answered with something bad on the way to losing 26-24, 12-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-10.

"It was the same thing as it has been all year. We were just inconsistent," said Baker coach Michele McCauley.

Game 1 went back and forth.

The Bulldogs built a 5-1 lead only to have Sutherline battle back to tie the game at 8-8.

Then, after baker regained a 10-9 edge, Sutherlin forged a 16-12 advantage.

Dani McCauley then stepped to the service line and gave Baker a 17-16 cushion.

Michelle Freese and Summer Phillips made scoring plays at the net in the run.

The teams traded small leads until Baker was a poinht away from a win at 24-22.

Sutherlin again answered, scoring twice to tie the game, then scoring the final two points for the come-from-behind win.

Baker evened the match at a game apiece behind the serving of Kayla Davis and Makenna Bachman. The pair served 10 points as the Bulldogs built a 21-9 advantage.

The third game was much like Game 1, back and forth.

Then with the score knotted at 20-20, Sutherlin scored the final five points for a 2-1 advantage.

Baker again battled back to even th ematch at 2-2 behind the play of Kate Averett.

With Game 3 tied at 17-17 Averett's hit gave Baker an 18-17 edge.

Averett then served three points for a 21-18 Baker lead.

Baker managed to keep the margin to at least two points the rest of the game before Amy Wong's hit was the game-winner.

In the final game, Baker constructed an 8-4 lead only to have Sutherlin tie the game at 8-8. Baker never led again.

McCauley said the Bulldogs served as well as they had all season.

Davis was 17-for-17, Averett 16-for-16, McCauley 10-for-10 with two aces, Bachman 9-for-9, Freese 13-for-14, and Madi Elms 11-for-12.

Freese finished with 16 kills, Averett eight, Davis and Wong three each, Phillips two and Whitney Lemmon one.

Davis added 17 digs, and Averett three blocks.

Bachman was 72-of-76 setting with 16 assists. McCauley was 67-of-69 setting with 18 assists.

Elms was 15-of-16 on serve receive.