HERMISTON — The Hanford Falcons will be seeing Grace Vertrees in their nightmares.
The Hermiston sophomore had eight kills in the first set, and 12 for the match, as the Bulldogs made quick work of the Falcons 25-12, 25-14, 25-4 on Tuesday night in Mid-Columbia Conference play.
“This will give us confidence we actually earned,” said Vertrees, who hit. .435 on the night. “We had that vibe and that quick fluid motion. This is a special group.”
Kendall Dowdy had 29 assists, six digs and three kills for Hermiston, which improved to 3-5 in MCC play.
“Winning at home, we hadn’t done that yet this season,” Bulldogs coach Amy Dyck said. “Playing our style of volleyball, and proving to ourselves that we can do it. We took care of the ball behind the service line, and limited our unforced errors.”
The Falcons came out in the first set and jumped out to a 10-6 lead, but once the Bulldogs got their footing, Hanford had no answer.
Emma Combes served up six connective points for a 16-11 lead, then Halee Stubbs put the final eight points on the board for the win.
“We have our moments of brilliance,” said first-year Hanford coach Kristin White. “They are learning to play together. It’s a struggle.”
Hanford again took an early in the second set, 4-1, but it too was short lived.
Daisy Maddox and Kambree Baker each served for four points as the Bulldogs rallied for a 15-6 lead. The Falcons picked up a few points here and there, but Maddox would serve the last five points of the set to take a 2-0 lead.
Hermiston cruised to a 10-0 lead in the third set, getting nine service points from Stubbs.
After a little back and forth, the Bulldogs had a 13-2 lead when Vertrees went to the service line. She reeled off five consecutive points for an 18-2 lead.
Dowdy would finish off the match with five points in a row.
“We are a really young team,” White said. “We have two seniors and the rest are mostly sophomores. They are learning a new system and that is making for a trying season.”
Maddox added five kills for the Bulldogs, while Baker had three kills, and Stubbs seven digs and three aces.
Hermiston will play at Walla Walla on Thursday.
“They are a good team,” Dyck said of the Blue Devils. “They are steady and consistent. If we play there, the way we played tonight, it will be a good match.”
Abby Meyer led the Falcons with three kills, while Shyrete Reka had 12 digs and Hannah Marske seven assists.