CULVER — The Heppner Mustangs put together their best game of the season to pick up their biggest win of the season so far, knocking off the top-ranked Culver Bulldogs 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“It was a battle tonight,” Heppner coach Mindy Wilson said. “Culver has some really big hitters, so we prepared for that and it showed. We were in the right places at the right time. We played them tough at the net and it worked out in our favor.”
Culver shot out of the gates to take the first set 25-12 before Heppner (14-5 overall, 4-1 CBC) rallied to take the next two 25-13 and 28-26. The Bulldogs (16-2, 4-1) stormed back to force a fifth set with a 25-16 win in the fourth, but Heppner was able to grind out an 18-16 win in the fifth to clinch the match.
“This was a whole team effort from the court, to the bench, to the stands,” Wilson said. Jacee Currin was a standout performer for Heppner, smacking 10 kills and three aces and adding 16 assists and 12 digs. Morgan Correa added nine kills and 21 digs, Sydney Wilson had a team-best 27 digs and Sophie Grant added 12 assists.
Heppner next travels to Pilot Rock on Thursday evening for a 6 p.m. game.
PILOT ROCK 3, STANFIELD 0 — At Pilot Rock, the Rockets snapped a two-game slide with a win over Stanfield on Thursday night, winning 25-14, 25-15, 25-15.
Pilot Rock (13-7, 2-3) next hosts Heppner on Thursday night at 6 p.m. and Stanfield (1-14, 0-5) hosts Union on Friday at noon.
UMATILLA 3, RIVERSIDE 0 — At Boardman, the Umatilla Vikings swept the season series with the rival Riverside Pirates with a 3-0 win on Tuesday night in Eastern Oregon League action.
Umatilla (8-11 overall, 2-4 EOL) won with scores of 25-19, 25-15 and 25-16 to snap a three game losing streak.
The Vikings next play at home next Tuesday when they host Irrigon. Riverside (0-16, 0-6) will try for its first win of the season on Thursday when it travels to Irrigon for a 6 p.m. match.
DUFUR 3, IONE 0 — At Ione, the Dufur Rangers handed Ione a 3-0 loss on Tuesday night, winning 25-8, 25-21, 25-13 in a non-league match.
Ione (6-17-1, 2-2) next plays on Saturday when it travels to Spray to take on Mitchell/Spray at 1 p.m.
HERMISTON 1, HOOD RIVER VALLEY 1 — At Hood River, the Hermiston Bulldogs took on the top-ranked Hood River Valley Eagles and managed a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.
Joel Mendez scored Hermiston’s (6-3-1 overall, 1-0-1 CRC) lone goal in the 26th minute of the first half and goalkeeper Juan Navarette had six big saves for Hermiston.
“We came out battling in the first half,” Hermiston coach Rich Harshberger said. “A real back-and-forth with Hermiston controlling more and having better opportunities. We didn’t let up and had a couple more good opportunities after the first goal ... but after a couple of missed golden opportunities on our part we struggled to get the ball out of our half.”
Hood River (5-2-1, 1-0-1) evened the score in the 55th minute when Robbie Running scored with a header. Harshberger said the Eagles kept up the pressure after that, but Hermiston’s defense was able to hold them off.
Hermiston next plays at Pendleton next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
HOOD RIVER VALLEY 0, HERMISTON 0 — For the second time this season, Hermiston comes away with a tie but unlike the match against The Dalles, this time felt different.
“It’s one of those things where you come out and you feel it,” head coach Danielle MacBride said. “There was something different about today. I don’t know if it was because we were under the lights or the little changes we made in our warm-ups, but it was a different night and it really showed.”
The Bulldogs (3-5-2 overall, 0-0-2 CRC) held off the Eagles until the final buzzer sounded — a feat not many accomplish.
“Everyone kind of expects (Hood River) to walk on everyone in the league, but we battled tonight,” MacBride said.
The Eagles (4-2-1, 1-0-1) had good looks at the goal in the second half but sophomore goalkeeper Lanie Gomez made so memorable saves late in the game. Hermiston had its own chance to sink one in to the back of the net later into the night, but both times the Bulldogs came up short.
Hermiston will have a week off before traveling across the highway in search of its first league victory. The Bulldogs will face the Pendleton Buckaroos at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
BAKER 9, UMATILLA 0 — At Baker City, the Umatilla Vikings traveled down Interstate 84 for a non-league game on Tuesday and came home with a tough 9-0 loss to the Baker Bulldogs.
Umatilla (2-4-2, 1-0-1) next plays on Friday when it travels to Nyssa.