COOS BAY — Marshfield started and finished fast against visiting Newport in the Pirates’ volleyball season opener Tuesday. In between, the Pirates did just enough to make sure they went home winners, sweeping the Cubs 25-21, 25-23, 25-15.
“I feel like we played all right,” said Marshfield libero Makenna Anderson. “We weren’t consistent, but our attitudes were consistent.”
Anderson served the first seven points of the opening set and the first six of the third as the Pirates quickly built big leads in each. But Newport came back in each, and led a pretty good chunk of the middle set, often because of the Pirates’ own errors.
“We definitely could have done better, but we had some real good moments,” Karina Skurk said. “I’m excited to see what we can go (this season). I know we can definitely do better.”
Despite Anderson giving Marshfield a 6-0 lead, the third set was in jeopardy until Skurk stepped to the service line with Marshfield up 16-15 and served out the final nine points of the match, including four aces.
That was the high point of what was an up-and-down match serving wise for the Pirates. Marshfield had 17 aces, including six by Skurk, five by Carmen Samuels and four by Anderson. On the flip side, the Pirates had 17 service errors, including six in the second set and seven in the third.
“We gave them a lot of points,” Marshfield coach Tammie Montiel said.
Skurk credited some of Marshfield’s serving struggles to first-match jitters.
“We’re pretty consistent serving,” she said. “There was a lot of nervousness.”
The Pirates also were off the mark on a number of attacks and had poor communication a few other times.
Newport only had 12 kills, including five by Rachel Smith. The Cubs also had eight aces (and just four service errors). Generally, Marshfield’s defense was solid and limited the Cubs’ efforts. Cedar Ward dug up eight of the attacks by the Cubs and Anderson and Skurk combined for 12 more digs.
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“Our defense wasn’t that bad,” Anderson said, though she said the exception was poor serve receive. “We made lots of little errors.”
But Marshfield also did a lot of good things, too.
Setter was a big concern entering the season, but the Pirates have answered that with Taylor Londo, a transfer who had 16 assists and one timely surprise kill late in the first set.
“She truly is not a setter,” Montiel said.
Londo, who is nursing a shoulder injury, would rather be a hitter, but Montiel doesn’t want to risk further injury and pointed out, “I really want her on the court.”
Ward, who has moved from middle blocker to outside hitter this season, had seven kills, all but one in the second set. Jamie Foster also had seven kills and Raegan Rhodes added four.
And the Pirates found ways to finish the sets strong to pick up the sweep.
They trailed the middle set 23-21 when Ward had a kill after a great save by Foster and Samuels followed with an ace. Two hits by Newport went long to hand the set to the Pirates.
“It was a good starting point,” Montiel said. “No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, the first game, you are going to have jitters,” she said. “Hopefully we knocked some of them off.”
The Pirates also found some details they need to fine-tune in practice, which will be the focus Wednesday before Marshfield hosts Phoenix and Reedsport Thursday. Marshfield will play Phoenix at 3 p.m., followed by a match between Phoenix and Reedsport. The Pirates and Brave finish the night with a match scheduled for 7:30.
The Pirates also are at the Cascade tournament Saturday before two more doubleheaders — against Creswell and Coquille next Tuesday and Hidden Valley and Banks on Saturday, Sept. 14.