Volleyball team struggles through growing pains


News staff writer

A move out of the Mt. Hood Conference was supposed to do the HRV volleyball team some good this season.

Getting away from playing state powerhouses like Gresham, Barlow and Central Catholic every night was sure to provide some relief for an Eagles squad that is rich in heart, but not blessed with much height or varsity experience.

“We’re a very short and very young team,” said senior Canela Wood, who is discovering that Intermountain Conference teams are no easier to overcome than the MHC competition.

“We have a blocking disadvantage against the tall, athletic girls from Bend and Pendleton because most of their ‘short’ players are as big as our tallest,” she said.

HRV, now 0-9, hosted its final two IMC matches of the season last Friday and was unable to overcome Bend or Mountain View. They now go on the road for the final five matches of the season, beginning with fourth-place Hermiston on Thursday.

“I knew the IMC would be tough,” said sophomore Meghan Flink, the lone varsity returnee from the 2001 squad. “Most of the teams have girls who play year-round and you have to have strategy when you go up against them. You can’t just go up and crank (the ball).”

Some, like senior hitter Kathryn Guisto, were expecting a slightly different transition into the Intermountain Conference.

“I heard it would be easier, but it’s been a pretty tough adjustment so far,” she said.

The Eagles took a break from the hard-hitting IMC teams the past two weekend to play at invitational tournaments in Portland and McMinnville. Coach Molly Kissinger said the experience was very positive and that the team was able to win a few games.

“It was good to see us get a couple wins,” she said. “This is proving to be a pretty difficult year, but I can tell everyone is still having fun together.”

The players agree:

“The best part about this team is that we all get along,” Wood said. “We’re playing a lot better together, which has helped us become one big, happy family.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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