Vikings serve up Pirate defeat

<p></p><p> Umatilla’s Adriannah Madrigal tips the ball over the net against Riverside Thursday at Umatilla. The Vikings won the match 3-0.</p>

The Umatilla volleyball team beat the rival Riverside Pirates in straight sets, 25-5, 28-26 and 25-23, Thursday night at Umatilla.

The Vikings improved their league record to 2-3 and 12-4, overall.

Sophomore outside hitter Adriannah Madrigal paced the Vikings throughout as she didn’t have a hitting error the entire match.

Head coach Megan Olson said she was pleased with Madrigal’s performance.

“She had an incredible game,” Olson said. “She was our offensive player of the game. She was really dependable for us tonight.”

Olson also anointed sophomore Sydney Webb as the defensive player of the game.

“She consistently made great digs,” Olson said. “She serve-received well, and that was critical for our success.”

The Vikings buried the Pirates early in the first set before eventually routing them, 25-5. Olson noted sometimes athletes can suffer a mental lapse after such a lop-sided victory, but she said she didn’t think that happened to her squad.

“There can always be a letdown after a set like that,” she said. “I don’t think we did. I think we kept the intensity throughout the match. I was proud of our girls for coming out and playing really hard after winning that first set like they did.”

Olson then went on to praise the Pirates and their adjustments after that first set.

“I think Riverside responded really well,” she said. “They came out and cleaned up a lot of their mistakes and played tough. That made the last two sets much closer.”

The second set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team gaining much of a lead throughout before the Vikings prevailed.

In the third and final set, the Pirates jumped out to a 20-14 lead and were poised to force a fourth set.

Junior Kasandra Galbraith fueled a Viking rally with some key blocks and timely kills to knot the set at 23. Umatilla prevailed shortly after, winning 25-23.

The rivalry with Riverside always adds an extra element of excitement whenever these two schools meet, Olson said. Olson said her team always plays with confidence when facing their biggest rival.

“We’re always up for this game,” she said. “It’s an intense, hard-fought game when we get together with the Pirates. It’s anyone’s match, and I’m glad we took this one.”

The Vikings have two league matches left and will need to win out to have a chance at the playoffs.

The top two teams advance out of the Eastern Oregon League.

Umatilla currently sits in fourth place, one game behind Nyssa and Burns in the loss column.

The Vikings play host to Burns and travel to league-leading Vale in their remaining two league matches.

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