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Volleyball team continues to roll with win over Byron

Oregon's Bailey Nelson (16) spikes between Byron blockers Arynn Mathieu (21) and Abbie McKinley (8). Photo by Earleen Hinton
Oregon's Bailey Nelson (16) spikes between Byron blockers Arynn Mathieu (21) and Abbie McKinley (8). Photo by Earleen Hinton

The Lady Hawks volleyball team wasted little time in dispatching Byron Tuesday night, 25-18, 25-9 to move to 5-2 in conference play and 15-6 overall.

Senior Bailey Nelson led Oregon with 10 kills, two blocks and seven digs. She was followed by freshman Jenae Bothe’s three kills and two blocks and McKenna Sadler’s 12 digs.

Byron fell to 1-6 in conference and 7-16 overall.

On Oct. 2, the Hawks downed Stillman Valley in a 3-game set 25-19, 16-25, 25-17.

In the first game, Nelson helped her team to a 10-5 lead a pair of kills and aces.

Oregon increased its advantage to 14-9 on a block by Nelson and Hannah Donaldson, a back row kill by Jasmine Herbst, a kill by Abi Hopkins and the shot of the game – a one handed dig by Herbst off a slam that snuck over the net for a point.

Stillman Valley would close to within 17-16, but Hopkins’ serving, kills by Nelson and blocks by the front line led to the win.

“Their outside hitters were hitting it right back, so we adjusted our blocking at the one (right back corner) position,” Hopkins said. “That enabled our defense to pick up their cross shots.”

More blocking and Nelson kills kept the Hawks even in the second contest until Cassidy Purvis started serving. She took the Cardinals from a 9-8 lead to 17-8, as Oregon had difficulty keeping the ball in play.

During the scoring drought, Nelson had one of her best shots of the match, only to see Holland Smits make a diving save and save the point for the Cardinals.

“I was glad we could put in different line-ups and adjust to certain positions,” Oregon coach Faith McNamee said. “They’re happy to be there and work hard.”

Another key for Oregon was blocking. Stillman had multiple hitters capable of damage at the net, but the Hawks were effective in their positioning.

“Tonight, we had lots of blocks – more than normal,” McNamee said. “The fans like it, the players like it. It gets momentum going.”

Midway through the final contest, Nelson was scoring from all parts of the court and Oregon was particularly effective in the back line.

“Bailey was on fire and good at listening to the libero (McKenna Sadler),” Hopkins said.

“Bailey did a nice job with sets and kills in the back row,” McNamee said.

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