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Volleyball squad hasn't won a set, but don't tell them that they aren't having fun

LONN AUSTIN  - Tegan Lantz, a senior, busts a kill shot against Corbett. The Madras White Buffalo volleyball team dropped a pair of matches last week to the Corbett Cardinals.

Tuesday the league-leading Cardinals whipped the White Buffalos 25-7, 25-13, 25-17 in Corbett. Thursday the Cardinals had an even easier time of it at Madras, taking a 25-15, 25-3, 25-8 victory.

The White Buffalos have had a tough season. After missing the first two weeks because Jefferson County was still in the high risk category, the White Buffalos have not managed to win a set in the four matches they have played.

Making things even more difficult on Thursday, Madras head coach Natalie Villanueva missed the match due to a death in the family.

Still, the Madras team members have kept a positive attitude throughout the season.

"I think it means a lot that we get to play," said senior middle blocker Tegan Lantz following Thursday's match. "I'm really proud that we get to have at least six or seven games and I'm super happy that we all get to play together for these few weeks that we get."

"We are really good as a team together," added senior outside hitter Olivia Symons. "We are super close together, all of us, and we just work really well together. It's exciting."

Thursday the White Buffalos stayed close early against the Cardinals, trailing just 14-12 after making a run. However, from that point on, it was all Corbett. Madras managed just three more points the entire set. Then, after Corbett dominated set two, the White Buffalos tried to find a way to get back into the match. After a kill by Maddy Johnson, Madras trailed just 4-3. However, Corbett scored 10 of the next 11 points as they controlled the match.

Johnson led the White Buffalos in kills with two, while Symons, Lantz, Matty Buck and Christina Thomas each added a kill. Symons also had a pair of aces in the match.

Meanwhile, the taller Cardinals finished with 23 kills and 14 aces.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 8-2 overall and 7-1 in league, while the White Buffalos fell to 0-4.

"I feel like we can play to a higher standard," said Lantz. "I feel like we can personally be more competitive than what we have been giving. Our team has amazing skill, we just have to showcase it as a team."

The White Buffalos played Gladstone, 1-7, at home on Tuesday. The two teams meet again Thursday in Gladstone. Madras then closes out the season on Monday, April 5 with a home match against Estacada.

Lantz noted that the team's five seniors are looking to leave a legacy behind.

"Love, encouragement and support, for sure, that's what we want to leave with the team," she said. "We all have that bond even though we didn't get a preseason or a full season in general. Just having a bond with everyone on our team will be rewarding in and of itself."

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