JOHN DAY - The Grant Union High School Lady Prospectors beat Eastern Oregon League opponent Vale last Saturday, Oct. 2, in the La Grande Volleyball Tournament.
However, the Vale Lady Vikings were missing one of their strongest hitters.
"It will be a different Vale team this Thursday, when they come to play us at home. But," said Grant Union High coach Shae Speth, "we were able to get a good look at them."
Last Thursday, Sept. 30, the Lady Prospectors beat another league opponent, Nyssa. In home action, they took the Lady Bulldogs in three sets: 25-18, 26-24, 25-14.
"During the first and third sets, we sided-out at a very high percentage, and served tough," said Speth. "The second set was a different story. For the second time in a week, we came back from a 10-point deficit, down 6-16, coming back to win 26-24. We had too many hitting and service errors that set."
The Lady Prospectors went 4-3 in pool play, and were the third seed, behind Baker High School and La Grande High School, for bracket play in the La Grande Tournament last Saturday.
In pool play, the team beat Pendleton Junior Varsity 25-18, then lost 20-21 to La Grande. Because there was a 20-minute time limit on games, Grant Union had the serve when time went out. "We were down early, but we made a good run, and just ran out of time," said Speth.
The third pool game was a win, 25-16 over Payette (Idaho). Then came a 21-25 loss to Ontario, followed by a 25-19 win with Weiser (Idaho), a 25-11 win with Vale, and a 9-25 loss to Baker.
In bracket play, Grant Union defeated Weiser in the first round 25-11 and 25-18, then lost to La Grande in the semi-finals, 22-25, 18-25.
"In both games with La Grande, we were ahead at the end, but mental errors cost us both sets. We really need to work on not letting one error turn into several," said Speth. "Throughout the tournament, we were inconsistent in our play, and our serving really hurt us. Our passing and coverage also broke down at times. We need to be better at doing the right things all the time."
As of Oct. 3, Vale was No. 1 in the OSAA power rankings, Burns was No. 2, and Grant Union was No. 9.
In the Eastern Oregon League, Grant Union moved to second place; Burns was in the top spot at 4-0, and Vale was No. 3, with 1-1.