The Baker volleyball team’s month-long, 11-match winning streak ended Saturday, Oct. 9 when the Bulldogs lost three matches at the Powder Valley tournament.
Baker, 13-5 and ranked sixth in the Class 4A ranks, lost to Nyssa, Burns and Powder Valley.
Baker started the tournament by taking on Nyssa for the first time this season. Baker won the first set 25-19, but Nyssa (11-9) rallied to win the next three, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19, handing Baker its first loss since a sweep against Weiser on Sept. 8 in the Baker gym.
Baker then played Burns, the top-ranked Class 3A team with a record of 21-3. One of those three losses came at the hands of the Bulldogs on Sept. 7 in the Baker gym.
Baker again won the first set, 25-18.
But the Hilanders responded to win the next three, 25-20, 25-16 and 25-16, to avenge its earlier loss to the Bulldogs.
Baker completed its tournament schedule with another rematch, this one against the host Badgers, which are 17-8 and ranked sixth in Class 1A.
Baker swept the Badgers in the teams’ season-opening match on Aug. 26 in the Baker gym.
Saturday’s rematch was much more competitive. The Badgers won the first two sets, but Baker bounced back to win two straight, 25-22 and 26-24.
In the deciding fifth set, the teams were tied at 15 before the Badgers scored two straight points to win the match.
“We made too many mistakes, and we were not mentally ready to compete,” Baker coach Ali Abrego said. “It’s all on us at this point, and we need to show up and prove we deserve to win league/host a state playoff game.”
Baker has two matches remaining on its regular season schedule, both on the road. The Bulldogs travel to La Grande on Thursday, Oct. 14 for a 6:30 p.m. match, and to Milton-Freewater on Oct. 21 to take on Mac-Hi, also at 6:30 p.m.