The Hermiston Bulldogs moved one step closer to securing a playoff spot Thursday night, sweeping the Kennewick Lions in a Mid-Columbia Conference match at the Lions Den.

Ireland McDonough had eight kills, 10 digs and nine aces as the Bulldogs (4-7 MCC) cruised to a 25-19, 25-13, 25-14 win.

“They looked good,” Kennewick coach Brandy Sonderland said. “They were ready to fight. They deserved to win.”

The win gave the Bulldogs a series sweep of the Lions. Hermiston won the first meeting Sept. 13 in straight sets.

“For us, this is huge,” Hermiston coach Amy Dyck said. “We are still learning how to win. I’m proud of the way they were able to focus and close it out.”

Kennewick (2-8) was hit with a loss before the match even started as Tayah Townsend injured her knee in warmups. In the second set, the Lions lost April Buckingham with a concussion.

“That doesn’t help the cause,” Sonderland said.

The Lions jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first set despite the loss of Townsend, but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to get back in the match.

After Daisy Maddox put down a kill for sideout, Courtnee West served six consecutive points for an 8-8 score.

Kennewick took a 10-9 lead, then McDonough went to work. She reeled off six points, including five aces, to give Hermiston a 16-10 lead.

The Lions would get as close as 23-18 before the Bulldogs closed out the set.

There were four ties in the second set, the last at 10-10, as the Bulldogs dominated play.

Emma Combes gave Hermiston breathing room with four points for a 15-10 lead, and Halee Stubbs extended the lead to 19-12 and the rout was on.

Two long service runs by McDonough in the third set the table for the Bulldogs.

McDonough’s first trip to the service line was worth seven points and a 9-3 lead. Another string of seven points gave Hermiston a 24-13 lead.

A kill by Scout Reagan ended the match.

Reagan finished with five kills, seven blocks and five digs, while Avery Treadwell added eight kills, Kendall Dowdy 14 assists and 10 digs, and Stubbs 18 digs. West chipped in with 17 assists and four kills, and Sophia Streeter had five kills.

Grace Morby led the Lions with six kills, while M’Kaylah Mangum added four kills and 11 digs, and Madeline Gebers 14 assists, three kills and five digs.

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