Viking Volleyball Goes To .500 With Win Over La Grande

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John L. Braese

VALE – Heading into 3A Eastern Oregon League play, the Vale volleyball team stands at 4-4 after a 3-0 victory over the 4A La Grande Tigers on Tuesday, Sept. 12 on the Viking home court.

Both squads had some extra time to think about the match after a delay in officials arriving delayed the match approximately 40 minutes.

Vale jumped out early in set one, scoring the first five points. The Tigers did fight back to within three points of the lead at the 16-13 mark, but the Vikings handled La Grande in the first set, 25-15.

The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first with the Vikings out early and La Grande attempting to play catch up with Vale winning 25-16.

The Tigers did have a better start in the third set, knotting up the score at five all and eight all and briefly led Vale at the 7-6 juncture. However, serving errors hurt La Grande and Vale won their first home match with a third set 25-11 win.

“We are excited to finally be playing at home,” said Vale junior Theresa Gonzalez. “We are ready for league play and preparing for a trip to Nyssa.”

“We really came together tonight,” senior Wrenna Cooke commented after the match. “We communicated much better on the court and played our best match of the year so far.”

As a team, Vale served at 95% with Dylann Justice leading the way going 14-for-14 with four aces. JoJo Cleaver also had four aces while serving 16-for-17 and Wrenna Cooke picked up four aces while serving 10-for-11.

Cleaver led the offense with 10 kills with Cooke adding nine. Halle Peterson added five kills and four blocks and Brogan Payne ended her night with four kills.

Elise Seals ended with 17 digs, six better than McKenna Justice’s 11 digs.

Theresa Gonzalez had 12 assists with Cleaver adding nine assists.

“I was pleased with our ability to follow the game plan and communicate through the full match with little to no frustration,” said Vale coach Shannon Steele of the victory.

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