Small School Volleyball: 2A Contender…Grant Union?, Burns Wins In Lakeview, Powder Valley Returns To Form, Santiam Christian’s Freshman Stars

Lots of volleyball occurred over the weekend in all pockets of the state, which included our small schools getting together for some early season competition. Here are some of the highlights from a packed weekend of small school volleyball.

Grant Union Follows Up The Talk, Stuns Crane

With a seasoned senior core, the Prospectors have talked about their talent and what they can do on the court, but on Saturday they put it into action at the Grant Union Tournament. The Prospectors locked horns with 1A power Crane, and took down the Mustangs 2-0 in convincing 25-18, 25-20 victories. In the Spring, Grant Union lost both matches against Crane 3-0 and 3-1, but the core has jelled together and its making results on the court. The Prospectors participate in the East/West Tournament at Heppner this weekend, and they have the opportunity to keep the strong momentum from the first week. Carson Weaver, Paige Gerry, Lauryn Pettyjohn, and Grace Taylor are cooking something special over at Grant Union this fall. Are the Prospectors 2A title contenders?

Burns Takes The Lakeview Tournament

A season removed from their 3A State Championship this Spring, the reality of the transition from their senior stars Allie Hueckman, Kyla Epling, Alicyn Hoke, and Kaiden Raif became clear in the season opener against Crook County. After dropping a close 3-1 contest to Crook County, the Highlanders travelled to Lakeview to get back on track at the Tall Man Tournament. They swept La Pine, Lost River, and Bonanza, while Lakeview gave them a hard fought 2-1 match, but ultimately went undefeated to win the tournament. With only two seniors and a boatload of juniors, this team is prepared for another crack at the state title for another two years at a minimum. In other words, all is normal over in Burns.

Powder Valley Gets Back To Winning

The Badgers shed lots of experience from the Spring season and return only four seniors/juniors to the roster this fall. With that comes transition and an acclimation period on the court, and that was evident in their season opening loss to Baker 3-0, a team that they dominated in the Spring season en route to a 14-0 season. At the North Powder Tournament, Powder Valley went undefeated with victories over Eastern Oregon opponents Ontario, Vale, and Nyssa. While it isn’t the most impressive slate, it was a needed recovery for the 1A power looking to find their footing. There are plenty of opportunities for the Badgers to keep gaining experience, as many more tournaments are on the docket for this team.

Santiam Christian’s Fountain Of Youth

A squad that just lost Emily Bourne to Oregon State, the team of mostly juniors were expected to have success in 2021 but possibly some hiccups along the way. It turns out that they have a pair of freshman stars sticking out in this team, Middle Blocker Macey Hughes and Outside Hitter Joya Euhus. Against Yamhill-Carlton and Scio, this pair made their presence known on the court and seemingly took control of the game at times. Their excellent volleyball IQ is a key essential to this team, as they look to compete for a 3A state title in 2021 and it might be two freshman leading them all the way there.

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