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Buffs have dropped four straight matches after beating Benson for season's only victory

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Senior libero Taylor Olson and the rest of the White Buffalos had a tough time with North Marion on Monday.The Madras volleyball team was all smiles after getting their first win in over two years back on Oct. 2. However, after falling in each of the past four matches, those smiles are a bit more strained.

Following last Monday's loss to Molalla at home, the team traveled to Estacada for a double-header. The Buffs and Rangers played two games back-to-back last Wednesday, in order to make up for the match that was canceled earlier this season when the Madras team was in the COVID-19 quarantine protocol. Estacada won both matches in straight sets. The first match was 25-14, 25-21, 25-9 in favor of the Rangers, while the second match was closer at 26-24, 25-15, 25-21.

On Monday of this week, Madras was back in action at the Buffalo Dome, where the student section was once again dressed in theme. Last time, they were decked out in all pink. This time, the motif was construction, as students donned reflective neon vests and hard hats.

Despite the roar of the rowdy MHS student section, which was cautioned for its behavior at one point, the Buffs were unable to take a set off of their guests, the North Marion Huskies.

North Marion jumped out to an early 11-2 lead in the first set and never really looked back, eventually finishing off the 25-12 set with a big kill from hitter Jaedyn Bryan.

Madras was much more competitive at the beginning of the second set, pulling within a point when Illiana Hance served up an ace that made it 6-5. The Huskies responded by scoring eight of the next nine points on their way to a 25-13 set win.

The third set began much like the first, with North Marion cruising out to an 11-1 lead early on. The White Buffalos settled in a bit after that and got some points back, but the damage was done. The Huskies prevailed in the third set by a score of 25-9.

The Buffs now stand at 1-11 on the season, with their 0-6 mark in Tri-Valley play placing them last in the league. At this point, the Buffs are no longer in contention for the playoffs, but their work this year is not yet done.

Regardless of what is on the scoreboard, though, the Buffs never say die.

"The one thing they don't do," said head coach Frank Maynard, "is they don't give up. They don't get down on each other. After a few bad points, they pick themselves back up and keep going. That's a great starting point."

Madras has three more matches this season, including Thursday's road trip to Corbett. The teams' previously scheduled match was canceled due to COVID-19. Thursday's match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at Corbett High School.

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