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1A VOLLEYBALL: Eagles spend most of the night with a double-digit lead against Dufur

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Damascus Christians Nina Piscitello (13) and Katie Bailey put up a block in the first set of Wednesdays playoff sweep of Dufur.

First-round playoffs

Team Score
Damascus Christian

The Damascus Christian volleyball team made quick work of Dufur to open the small-school playoffs Wednesday night.

The Eagles set the tone early when rookie Sierra Hale scored with a dump shot for a 21-6 lead in the first set. Teammate and older sister Savannah Hale finished the set with back-to-back service aces.

After trading points early in the second set, Damascus put on a spurt to go up 7-3 when Nina Piscitello got on the move for a bump in the middle of the floor that teammate Katie Bailey deflected over the net and saw it fall amidst a crowd of Rangers.

Next up, Sierra Hale unleashed a big swing that went off a set of Dufur arms and sent another Ranger stumbling into the bleachers unable to track down the carom.

Savannah Hale caught the Dufur defense off guard with a dump shot that the Rangers put into the net, and Adrienne Mai hammered an ace to grow the lead.

The Eagles were first to 15 after winning the longest volley of the night. The ball was about to drop on their side when two Damascus players collided, but libero McKenna Patrick survived the bump to keep the ball in the air. Teammate Julia Mitchell deflected the ball over the net to take the point.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Damascus Christians Nina Piscitello (middle) raises her hands to celebrate an Eagles point in the first set.

Savannah Hale spun down three consecutive aces, tossing the ball high above the backboard on one of her powerful jump serves.

Dufur turned away one set point, but not the next when Patrick bumped a ball into the front row, Savannah Hale popped a set into the middle and Bailey thundered home the first-attack kill to claim the closest set of the night 25-15.

Damascus (26-3) outscored Dufur 75-34 over the course of the match and travels to Big Sky champion Echo (19-7) for a second-round match at 5 p.m. Saturday. The winner advances to the 1A state tournament in Redmond.

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This story is slated for our Friday, Nov. 1, print edition.

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