COQUILLE — The Coquille volleyball team took a huge step toward a second straight Sunset Conference title by sweeping visiting Reedsport on Monday night.
The Red Devils improved to 7-0 in league play with their 25-20, 25-18, 25-17 win and completed a season sweep of the second-place Brave (6-2) while all the other teams have at least three league losses. That essentially gives Coquille a three-game lead in the league standings. If Reedsport had won, the teams would have essentially been tied.
“It was really important,” Coquille sophomore Hailey Combie said of the win.
Combie had a huge night for the Red Devils at the net, finishing with eight kills and seven stuff blocks. She also had three aces, including one on match point.
Reedsport coach James Hixenbaugh said Combie and Coquille’s front line was one of the big differences in the match.
“They block the ball well and we don’t block cover (well),” he said.
Gaby McCrorey also had a stuff block for the Red Devils, who tipped a number of other Reedsport attacks so they could be easily dug up by the back row.
The other big difference Monday was in serving and serve receive. Reedsport finished the night with eight serving errors, including four in a stretch of five serves in the second set, and just two aces, on back-to-back serves by Divinity Farris late in the final set. Coquille, meanwhile, had just three service errors and seven aces, including two by Spencer Gallino early in the first set.
“We missed a lot of serves,” Hixenbaugh said.
And Coquille’s passing on most of Reedsport’s serves was good, allowing the Red Devils to get into their attack.
“Our serve receive was good,” Coquille coach Suzanne Grami said.
Coquille didn’t have overwhelming offensive numbers, because of Reedsport’s play in the back row. That was probably the biggest highlight for the Brave.
Setter Makenzie Seeley, Haylee Lent, Farris and Cassy Galan all had at least 10 digs and Cheyenne McCart, Riley Wright, Aubree Rohde and Jenna Corcoran combined for 26 more.
But Reedsport didn’t have enough offense to keep up with Coquille. Wright finished with 10 kills and Corcoran, Lent and Rohde combined for 15 more. Seeley had 24 assists.
Saige Gallino and Ellie Ekelund had six kills each for Coquille. Setter Drew Wilson had 18 assists.
Libero Mariah Jarrett had 13 digs to lead Coquille’s defense.
Reedsport did battle well. The first two sets were closer than the score indicated.
The first set was tied 14 times, the last at 18-all, but Coquille scored three straight points, starting with one of Combie’s kills, to pull away.
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The second set was tied eight times and Reedsport led 15-14 before Coquille scored six straight points, including a kill and stuff block by Combie and two straight kills by Saige Gallino.
Coquille took control earlier in the third set, turning a 6-4 deficit into a 12-7 lead with a big stretch that included aces by Saige Gallino and Combie.
“It was a good match,” Hixenbaugh said.
“I think we played well, but there were communication errors,” she said. “They’re a good team.”
Combie said the Red Devils knew the importance of the match.
“I think we hyped each other up and it was one of our better games,” she said.
Grami pointed to the play of Combie, who has been improving throughout the year as a strong force at the net, and to the rest of Coquille’s defense.
She added that Wilson had a strong match utilizing multiple hitters.
“Drew had good set selection tonight,” Grami said.
While Coquille strengthened its hold on first place, Reedsport remained alone in second and will focus on staying there, which would give the Brave home-court advantage in the league playoffs at the end of the regular season.
“That’s where we are,” Hixenbaugh. “We’ve got to keep going.”
This week, the league schedule calls for matches on Monday and Wednesday. Coquille is at Gold Beach and Reedsport at Waldport on Wednesday.
BOBCATS SWEEP PANTHERS: Myrtle Point beat host Gold Beach on Monday. Scores were not available.
Madison Brown had 15 assists in the match. Nikki Leep had 10 kills and Hayden Weekly six. Rylee Kenyon had 18 digs.
The Bobcats, who improved to 4-4, have their bye in the second round of the league schedule on Wednesday, returning to action next Tuesday when it visits Toledo. Gold Beach remained winless in league play.
TOLEDO TOPS WALDPORT: Toledo swept host Waldport 25-9, 25-10, 25-16 as the Boomers kept their spot in the upper half of the league standings.
Toledo is 4-3, tied for third place with Bandon.