Madras spikers dip in standings
Some volleyball losses are more expensive than others.
Madras learned that lesson in its biggest weekend of Intermountain Conference play so far this season. The White Buffalos were seeking to stay even with Bend in the fourth-place battle. The IMC's top four teams advance to the state playoffs.
Instead, Bend is two games ahead after five-game victories against visiting Pendleton and Hermiston. Madras did just the opposite, falling to Hermiston on Friday and Pendleton on Saturday. The Buffs were also swept by No. 1-ranked Crook County on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
"We had a total lack of energy this weekend," Madras coach Caron Smith said. "We played all day last Saturday (at the Madras Invite) and had lots of energy. We didn't this weekend."
The weekend losses offset the stellar play of middle hitter Hayley Nye. The senior had a combined 47 kills and 25 blocks, 11 stuffs, to likely earn first-team all-IMC votes from the Hermiston and Pendleton coaches.
"I'm not sure what more Hayley could have done for us," Smith said. "Not only did she play well at the net, but also in the back row (12 digs against Pendleton)."
Madras played the weekend matches without outside hitter Jessica Glaspie. She suffered an ankle injury during a physical education class. Her status for the rest of the season is doubtful.
Pendleton 3, Madras 1: Unfortunately, the Buffs were generous hosts in a 25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19 loss.
That is, in giving the opponents points off mistakes. More than half of the Buckaroo points in the fourth and fifth games came off Madras mistakes.
Pendleton scored 16 points off various mistakes in the third game and 18 in the finishing fourth game.
The mistakes offset a strong second game. The Buffs jumped ahead 7-2 starting with a kill by Marisa Hulsey. Nye followed with a kill and stuff block.
It was part of five consecutive points on Danielle Palmer's serves. Palmer also keyed five straight points with a pair of aces for a 21-14 lead. The junior libero would put in all 23 of her serves to go along with 12 digs.
Hermiston 3, Madras 2: Oh those missed serves.
The Buffs missed enough to halt any match-winning rally in the first of two critical home IMC matches. The visitors won 18-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-22, 15-12.
"We can't miss serves like we did," Smith said. "We missed five in the fifth game."
Serves into the net or over the backline were uncharacteristically frequent by Madras standards. The Buff total of 16 misses started with four in the opening game.
"Everything else was great," Smith said. "We were hitting, passing and digging, but our serving was just 83 percent. Until this match, we served well above 90 percent."
The missed serves helped Hermiston reverse last month's IMC decision in which Madras won in five games on the Bulldogs' court.
A five-game match seemed unlikely given the opening game. Madras took control, jumping ahead 14-8 by going to Nye.
The senior opened and closed the first game with a pair of kills, two of her eight kills in that opening game.
Nye finished with 23 kills and 15 blocks, six stuffs. Lindgren had eight kills and Danielle Palmer 18 digs.
Crook County 3, Madras 0: The No. 1-ranked Cowgirls had a battle, especially in the second game of the 25-14, 26-24, 25-19 match.
Nye had five kills while Britney Lindgren added four with three each by Krista Haugen and Keri Krenowicz. Sabria Rios contributed 13 assists.