DALLAS -- Dallas' volleyball team slipped a notch or two in a crowded Mid-Willamette Conference playoff race last week after losses to South Albany and Lebanon.
The Lady Dragons lost in three games Sept. 29 at South Albany and fell 25-18, 25-23, 14-25, 26-24 Oct. 1 at home against Lebanon.
"We have a tough league," Dallas coach Molly Fennimore said. "Going into last Thursday, we had two teams who were 5-0 (Silverton, West Albany), one that was 0-5 (Woodburn) and everybody else was 2-3. Everybody in the middle is kind of beating up on each other. Anybody could win on a given night."
Dallas started league play with a win against Crescent Valley but later lost to Silverton. Crescent Valley, though, turned around and handed Silverton its first MWC loss Oct. 5, which sort of proves Fennimore's point.
The Lady Dragons had their chances against Lebanon but weren't quite able to close the deal.
"It was a good match," Fennimore said. "The crowd was into it. The girls were working their tails off. We just need to put the nail in the coffin when it comes to crunch time. We're working on that. So much of it is mental."
Dallas was relentless on defense, finishing with a total of 113 digs. Ashley Guidone was the team leader in that category with 21.
Sophie Stewart and Maddie Stewart finished with 11 kills apiece, and Sophie added six blocks. Shelby Phelps finished with nine blocks, and Hannah Frederick had 37 assists and four service aces.
The Lady Dragons begin the second half of league play today at Crescent Valley.
"It's a battle," Fennimore said. "We have a tough week ahead of us. We need to show up with our "A" game and play defense like we know how. We need to hit the ball like we know how. We need to get the momentum on our side and hold it as long as we can."