The kills have been replaced by 3-pointers and the serves have been replaced by free throws. As we enter the basketball season, we take one last look back at the volleyball teams of eastern Oregon. Volleyball in this part of the state certainly tasted success on many levels and room for growth on other levels.
Here is the easy start-off point. Burns dominated not only the 3A Eastern Oregon League, but the 3A state. Congrats go to Paula and the Hilanders for an outstanding season. Expect to see Burns looking for a repeat of not only a league title, but a repeat state title run next season. Also expect to see Shannon and the Vikings in epic battles with Burns next season. We are also going to add a third team in the mix.
In the past seven years, Nyssa volleyball has failed to finish in the top three in league standings. In this past season, Maddie and the Bulldogs locked down the third spot and were involved in post-season play. With the return of Gracie Johnson, Morgan Johns and Bell Wagstaff, the battle in the Eastern Oregon League should be enjoyable for fans.
Grant Union had a stellar season in the 2A, picking up victories over even 3A teams. On the Prospectors’ heels was Stanfield. Although Stanfield downed Grant Union twice in season play, the Prospectors downed Stanfield when it counted in the BMC tournament. Next year’s clashes between the two should be no different and add in Union and the TigerScots for kicks.
The problem with 1A schools is attempting to determine what is in this year’s eighth grade coming forward next year. A feed of two or three good players in the 1A ranks could turn around a team with a lackluster season this past year.
We expect Crane to again exceed expectations next season. As long as the Eiguren family remains in Jordan Valley, athletes will continue to make the teams contenders. Prairie City/Burnt River was the big shocker at the league tournament-hometown fans are a positive.
Joseph and Powder Valley know how to schedule and have playing time on the court, winning 48 matches between the two teams. Expect much the same next season. Echo will return after a loss of only four seniors while South Wasco, a young team to start, sees only two seniors depart.