It took a little longer than coach Mariah Vierck might have liked, but Bandon’s volleyball team got its first wins of the season Friday, beating both Pacific and Rogue River in a pair of nonleague matches.
The Tigers had lost their first six matches, including the Sunset Conference opener a night earlier at Myrtle Point.
Bandon beat Pacific, which didn’t have enough players to field a team last fall but is back this year, 25-7, 25-11, 25-23. The Tigers then topped Rogue River 25-21, 25-12, 25-16.
Getting that first win was important.
“It was a bit chaotic at time, but good teamwork and communication got our girls through it,” Vierck said.
Bella Erenfeld, Brittni England and Kennedy Turner each had four kills against Pacific and Erenfeld also had three aces.
Vierck also was able to get all her players time on the court, which was important since Bandon has enough players for a JV team this year, but not all the other schools do.
“Overall, it was a fun game to get new kids play time,” Vierck said.
In the win over Rogue River, Turner had seven kills, Kylie Lakey six aces and Jordan Houck a good night in her first match setting for the Tigers, Vierck said.
Before its wins, Bandon had lost to Brookings-Harbor, Douglas and Siuslaw, three teams that are either Class 3A or Class 4A schools this year, as well as Monroe and Glide.
Then there was the league opener at Myrtle Point, which was typical of the season to date.
The Bobcats dominated the first, second and fourth sets and Bandon crushed the Bobcats in the third of a match that ended with Myrtle Point on top 25-14, 25-17, 10-25, 25-14.
“Every match we’ve had so far, consistency is an issue,” Vierck said after the match in Myrtle Point. “We play well and have a slump, play well and have a slump. Tonight, our slumps were longer.”
Myrtle Point had strong, scrappy defense all night, but Bandon also gave the Bobcats a bunch of points through various errors, including four service errors in each of the first two sets.
In the set Bandon won, Lakey had three aces in her first five serves as the Tigers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead (she also had an ace on set point) and Bandon got kills by England, Erenfeld, Turner and Ashley Strain, who had three in the set.
It showed what the Tigers are capable of.
“They do have the skill to get the job done,” Vierck said.
Kortney Ferreri, one of five seniors on the roster, said the Tigers haven’t been communicating well enough in matches.
But she remained excited about Bandon’s season.
“We’re making progress in practice,” Ferreri said. “I see a lot of hope and a lot of potential with everyone on the team. I can see us getting better in league.”
The Sunset Conference is guaranteed two spots in the playoffs and the race appears wide open for the second of those spots (Coquille is the heavy favorite in the league race with a senior-dominated team after placing this in last year’s Class 3A state tournament).
Since there are seven teams in the league this year, one team has a bye every round of league play. Bandon had its bye for the first half of the season Tuesday.
The Tigers visit Toledo on Thursday in their longest league road trip, then play in the Braves Boosters Tournament in Reedsport on Saturday. Next week, Bandon hosts Gold Beach on Tuesday and visits Waldport on Thursday.