Baker’s volleyball team continued its September win streak Tuesday, Sept. 28 at Vale with what coach Ali Albrego called a “perfect” match.
The Bulldogs won their eighth straight match with a 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 sweep of the Vikings.
“The kids had a breakthrough,” Abrego said. “They played perfect for the first time this season. It was really fun to see them recognizing their own success.”
Baker, ranked fourth in the Class 4A standings by the Oregon School Activities Association, improved to 10-2.
The Bulldogs haven’t lost since a 3-0 sweep by Weiser in the Baker gym on Sept. 8.
Abrego said Baker’s standout performance Tuesday at Vale was especially impressive because it was the Bulldogs’ first match in eight days.
And although Abrego said Baker had a few “slow” practices during the break, she wasn’t overly surprised that the Bulldogs played so well at Vale.
“It can be hard to maintain that competitive mindset during such a long break, but we have a really competitive group, and they’re pretty self-driven,” Abrego said. “It was awesome to see them put it all together.”
The sweep of Vale was a true team effort, Abrego said, but she said several Bulldogs excelled in particular areas.
Rylee Elms had multiple key blocks, Abrego said, and fellow junior Jozie Ramos, who plays both as setter and outside hitter, had an “outstanding” match.
Lacy Churchfield, Baker’s lone senior, played well in the back row, as did junior Taylor Dalton, Abrego said.
Another junior, Macey Moore, “scored several points just by being smart with the ball,” Abrego said.
Sweeping Vale is no small accomplishment, Abrego said.
The Class 3A Vikings are “a solid program,” she said, and they’ve already swept Greater Oregon League teams Ontario and La Grande this season.
During the abbreviated season this past spring, Baker’s two matches against Vale both went to five sets, with each team winning on its home court.
Baker will try to keep its winning streak intact as it moves into the heart of its league schedule, starting this evening, Sept. 30, by playing host to Mac-Hi at 6:30 p.m.
“I feel good about how we are playing,” Abrego said. “But it’s one game at a time. You can never be too comfortable with where you’re at. That’s how mistakes happen.”