Between sets Monday night, Bandon volleyball coach Mariah Vierck looked over to the scoring table and used a single word to describe her team and its season: Bipolar.
The Tigers had just dominated the second set against visiting Reedsport 25-16 after losing the opening set 25-19.
True to Vierck’s description, Bandon went on to lose the final two sets 25-16, 25-9 as the Brave beat the Tigers in the season finale.
“At times, we look like a well-oiled machine and everyone is stepping it up and doing their part,” Vierck said, adding that the rest of the time, seemingly the entire team struggled during the year.
“Win or lose, we do it as a team,” she said. “It’s never just one or two players.”
Bandon finished the year with a 4-8 league record, despite being the hottest team aside from unbeaten league champion Coquille for the middle weeks of the season.
On Monday, Vierck said, the Tigers were hurt by their poor serve receive — Reedsport had 12 aces, including nine in the final two sets — and a slow start in the first set.
But she also gave the Brave credit for the win, which put them in the playoffs as the league’s runner up to Coquille.
“Reedsport earned that win,” Vierck said.
Bandon finished 6-15 overall after starting the season with six straight losses. But the team made great strides, junior Kylie Lakey said.
“It was definitely an improving season,” she said. “We have some girls who have improved so much. I’m definitely looking forward to playing with them next season.”
Bandon’s record, she said, was not indicative of the effort the Tigers had.
“We definitely worked hard,” Lakey said. “I wish it would have shown on the court.”
Vierck said she was proud of how the Tigers stuck together all season.
“At the last powwow (after the match), I said, ‘Let’s say Tigers one last time,’ and they said, ‘Let’s say family,’” Vierck said. “They really grew as a team from last year. That’s something they’ll take with them the rest of their lives.”
The Reedsport contest was the final match for seniors Olivia McMahon, Madison Berry, Jordan Houck, Britni England and Kortney Ferreri.
Lakey had seven kills and four aces while Kennedy Turner had nine kills and two stuff blocks. Ferreri had 20 assists and Berry had 14 digs. England and Bella Erenfeld combined for seven kills and England had eight digs. McMahon added six digs.