Lady Vikings sweep weekend competition, learn playoff fate

Vale varsity volleyball players chant before the first set against Umatilla Friday afternoon. Vale proved to be the better Vikings, sweeping all three sets in a decisive manner.  (The Enterprise / Jayme Fraser)

VALE – The Vale Vikings girls volleyball team dominated all three of their opponents last weekend, playing as well as they ever had.

Jaymo Jensen fired nine kills and Emmy Johnson added another five as the team rattled off a straight-set — 25-14, 25-9, 25-13 — victory over Umatilla on Friday.

The Vikings continued to display their athleticism and powerful hitting on Saturday with easy wins over Irrigon (25-11, 25-23, 26-24) and Riverside (25-9, 25-23, 25-11).

Their goal is to earn a trip to Forest Grove, the site of the Class 3A state volleyball tournament on Nov. 2-3. Although the Vikings will finish no higher than second in the Eastern Oregon League, they have a realistic chance at reserving a school bus for the trip northward.

The Lady Viks play their next game on Saturday at the Eastern Oregon District Tournament at Burns High School.

“The tournament is played in Burns since Burns is the first-place team in our league,” said Vikings Coach Shannon Steele. 

Meanwhile, the Nyssa Bulldogs took home two victories over the weekend, winning 3-1 over Umatilla Friday and 3-0 over Riverside Saturday morning.

Nyssa battled Irrigon in the afternoon Saturday and played an intense five-set game to end its season with a loss. The Lady Bulldogs claimed the first two sets 25-23 and 25-14, but the Irrigon Knights found their footing to sweep the final three sets 25-20, 26-24, and 15-13.

Nyssa finished the season at No. 25 in the OSAA’s 3A-6 Eastern Oregon League, with a 7-11 overall record and 4-6 in the Eastern Oregon League. To secure a playoff spot in the district tournament, the Bulldogs would have to beat Irrigon Tuesday, Oct. 16, but results were too late for press time.

Steele said the Vikings will learn their playoff fate after the Tuesday game, as her team will play their first district tournament match against the winner of the Irrigon-Nyssa matchup.

“On Saturday, we will play the winner from the third and fourth game played on Tuesday in Irrigon,” Steele said. “We have to win that to go to state. And when we win that, we will play Burns following that match to decide who is the first seed and who is second seed within the district.”

She said to advance to state championship tournament, Vale would have to place in the top two in their district.

Reporter Kristine de Leon: (541) 473-3377 or [email protected]

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