Playing six volleyball matches in eight hours was worth it for Madras.
The White Buffalos won their own tournament Saturday by compiling a 4-2 game record in championship bracket of the Madras Invitational. All eight teams played a trio of two-game morning matches to determine afternoon seeding. Madras was 3-3 in the morning matches.
Again, the White Buffalos played without all of its starters.
Senior middle blocker Haley Nye was gone because of illness and junior outside hitter Jessica Glaspie was gone due to a family obligation.
"We've had our complete lineup for just our opener (Sept. 7 against LaPine). These girls have learned to adapt to any changes we've made," Madras coach Caron Smith said.
The Buffs adapted Saturday as junior Keri Krenowicz returns from a wrist injury to fill the outside slot. In the middle, it was the Haugen sisters all the time. Freshman Kora joined junior Krista in the alternating rotation.
Neither were completely healthy, both suffering from colds.
"We're getting used to teammates being gone," said Krista Haugen between coughs at the end of the tourney. "We know it takes all of us to handle it."
Haugen added she didn't know Nye would be gone until "we were ready to warm up and Haley wasn't here."
Madras clinched first by splitting with Eagle Point in the last completed match. The Buffs won the opening game 25-23 and Eagle Point the second game 25-22.
Close matches were a Madras theme all day. The Buffs' greatest margin was six points with nine of the 12 games decided by four or fewer points, extending the team's court time.
"We knew we had to keep going even if we were tired," senior defensive specialist Teri Jo Yazzie said. "We're used to playing all day. We've done it before this season."
Madras swept Mazama and split with Redmond to set up a battle for first place against Eagle Point. The Eagles had split with Mazama and Redmond, thus needing to sweep the Buffs to claim the title.
A sweep didn't happen as Madras built up an 11-4 lead. Two blocks by Krista Haugen, an ace by Krenowicz along with a block by Kora Haugen built the lead. Eagle Point rallied to a 15-14 deficit.
Then Britney Lindgren's tip kill slowed the Eagles. Krenowicz added two more kills and Danielle Palmer served two aces for a 23-18 lead. A Lindgren kill ended the game.
"Today, the team did a great job of finishing," Smith said. "In our (two) earlier tournaments, we'd be in good position but not quite close a match out. Today, finishing was our focus."
The coach praised all the the players, noting "they all had to play. We didn't have any subs outside of the rotation we used today."
Smith added Krenowicz was playing in her first action since early last month and Kora Haugen saw her first extended varsity action.
"Coming back in the tourney instead of a regular match gave Keri time to adjust to playing with a sore wrist," Smith said. "Kora did a great job of understanding when to hit and when to tip so she could conserve some energy. Kora's teammates really embraced her and helped her all day."
For complete scores, see Scoreboard on page 11.
Mountain View 3, Madras 0: The host Cougars won 25-14, 25-12, 25-15 in the Tuesday, Sept. 26 Intermountain Conference match.
Nye had five kills while Krista Haugen and Yazzie served 100 percent.