Reedsport’s volleyball team is off to a strong start, even if the overall win-loss record doesn’t reflect it.
The Brave finished third in the annual Les Schwab tournament on Saturday after earlier in the week earning a thrilling comeback win over Phoenix and pushing Marshfield in a loss.
The matches served as the final tuneup for Reedsport before opening Sunset Conference play Tuesday against Myrtle Point (results were not available by press time).
Reedsport also hosts Coquille on Thursday and Union on Saturday (in a nonleague game) before visiting Waldport next Tuesday.
During the Les Schwab tournament, Reedsport opened with a 25-5, 25-10 win over Oakridge. The Brave then pushed North Douglas in a three-set loss, falling 24-26, 26-19, 15-8. In the third-place match, Reedsport beat St. Mary’s 25-22, 25-18.
“Overall, I thought the tournament went well,” Reedsport coach James Hixenbaugh said. “We had too many errors in the second and third set against North Douglas.”
Throughout the day, setter Makenzie Seeley accumulated 38 assists for Reedsport. Riley Wright had 25 kills, 10 digs and four blocks and Aubree Rohde had eight kills. Divinity Farris had nine aces.
Coquille ended up winning the tournament, beating North Douglas in the final.
Reedsport took a big step Thursday in the double-dual at Marshfield High School.
The Brave fell behind Phoenix 2-0 with losses of 25-16 and 25-18 in the first two sets.
But Reedsport came back to easily win the third and fourth sets, 25-14 and 25-12. Reedsport then won the fifth set 15-11 to take the match.
The result was refreshing, Seeley said.
“That’s something we’ve had trouble with in the past,” she said of matches where Reedsport lost the first two sets. “When we’re down, we’re done.”
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A few minutes later, Reedsport was back on the court against the host Pirates. And though Marshfield swept the match, Reedsport was competitive in all three sets.
Reedsport led as late as 11-10 in the first set before Marshfield pulled away to win 25-18. The second set was 25-19, but Reedsport had been as close as 22-19 after an ace by Cheyanne McCart.
And Reedsport led most of the third set before Marshfield came from five points down late to win 25-21.
The Brave walked away with heads held high.
“That gives me a lot of hope — what we did out there,” Seeley said.
Reedsport had struggled the previous weekend in the Kennedy tournament at Mount Angel and even the day before in a jamboree hosted by the Brave.
“That was night and day better than how we played yesterday,” Seeley said. “Everyone put in the effort. We were all working together and contributing as a team and family.”
Jenna Corcoran finished with six kills and a pair of aces against Marshfield. Wright had five kills and 10 digs. Haylee Lent had two kills, an ace and a stuff block; Seeley had 15 assists and a kill; and Farris finished with 11 digs, switching in as libero in the later stages of the match after McCart had to leave due to illness.
Rohde and Cassy Gallan also contributed in the match.
Hixenbaugh said he was pleased with his team’s effort throughout the evening, especially with the comeback against Phoenix.
“All season long, the first two sets, we make a lot of mistakes,” he said. “They quit doing that the third set (against Phoenix). We quit giving up free points.”
That carried over to the match against Marshfield.
“That’s been our focus — mistakes on our side of the net,” Hixenbaugh said. “Hopefully we grew a lot tonight.”