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Memorable Madras volleyball season ends

The final match was a last chance for the Madras volleyball team to demonstrate its improvement this season.
   The White Buffalos did in making Intermountain Conference champion Mountain View work in a three-game win. The visiting Cougars won 25-5, 29-27, 25-17 to finish off a 13-1 regular season with a squad of nine seniors, starting five.
   That championship intensity of the visitor's showed in the opening game and into the second. Mountain View led 11-5 in the second game before Madras rallied.
   Krista Haugen started a Buff rally with three kills and a block. Haugen finished with eight kills and seven blocks, three stuffs.
   "Blocking was one of our goals, especially the middle," Buff coach Caron Smith said. "Krista showed she's recovered from her illness. She's been sick all of this month."
   Hayley Nye added four blocks while Kora Haugen and Keri Krenowicz had two stuff blocks each.
   Madras tied the match at 17-17 as Nye had four kills and Kora Haugen a stuff block. The Buffs charged ahead 21-18 thanks to a quartet of Cougar errors.
   Five ties followed, the last at 27-all. Mountain View used a kill and a point off a Madras block to take the game.
   Mountain View then pulled away from a 13-all tie to dominate the third game.
   Madras had plenty of solid stats, including Nye pounding down nine kills. She and Krista Haugen added seven positive tips which Mountain View defenders dug up.
   "What strikes me about the stats is how Hayley and Krista always make their hits and blocks," Smith said. "They just seem to consistently get the job done regardless of the competition."
   Danielle Palmer led the serving by going 12 of 12 with an ace. Nye and Teri Jo Yazzie both went 7 for 7.
   On the other side, Madras concentrated on handling Mountain View's trio of jump servers. Palmer led the defense with 22 positive passes while Britney Lindgren had 14 and Nye eight.
   "Their jump serving really hurt us in that first match," said Smith of the 25-14-25-12, 25-15 loss on Sept. 26.
   Palmer and Lindgren added 12 digs each with six by Nye plus four each for Marisa Hulsey, Samantha Blann and Sabria Rios. Yazzie and Rios shared setting duties. Rios was 35 of 36 setting with 10 assists while Yazzie was 24 of 25 with eight assists.
   Madras finished this season at 4-10 in IMC play, 5-10 overall and won their own tournament. A season ago, the Buffs were winless in the Tri-Valley League and won two nonleague matches.
   "This team overcame large obstacles of the past plus all the whoopla about joining the new league and a new coach's philosophy," Smith said.
   Both Nye and Palmer said the season's highlight was beating Bend (a state-playoff qualifier) in five games in a Sept. 21 match.
   "It's hard to pick out a most improved player; everybody improved so much this season," Nye said.
   Moving up to the IMC spurred the enhanced play, Palmer said.
   "We knew we were moving up to a new league, so we knew we had to improve," Palmer said.