COOS BAY — Marshfield’s volleyball team picked up a pair of wins Thursday night, the latter against fellow South Coast squad Reedsport.
While the Pirates, who also beat Phoenix, improved to 3-0 with their third win in as many days, Reedsport gained a bunch of confidence from its own win over Phoenix and how it challenged Marshfield.
The day started with Marshfield sweeping Phoenix 25-6, 25-16, 27-25.
Then Reedsport came from two sets down to also beat Phoenix, 16-25, 18-25, 25-14, 25-12, 15-11.
“That’s something we’ve had trouble with in the past,” Reedsport senior Makenzie Seeley said of facing deficits in matches. “When we’re down, we’re down.”
The Brave kept the momentum up against Marshfield, battling the Pirates through the midway points of the first two sets (25-18 and 25-14 wins by Marshfield) and leading most of the third before the Pirates rallied from six points down late, clinching the match when Carmen Samuels dumped a kill on Reedsport’s side of the net for a 25-23 win.
The victory prompted a celebration from the Pirates, who had to work hard to avoid a fourth set.
“I think we did amazing,” said Cedar Ward, one of just a few Pirates with extensive varsity experience. “Those last five points, we just pulled together. We were so pumped up.”
Marshfield, which also beat Newport on Tuesday, has yet to lose a set heading into the Cascade tournament on Saturday, when the Pirates could face a number of top Class 4A squads.
“This is kind of a make-or-break week for us — proving to ourselves that we can do it,” Ward said.
The day started well for Marshfield. Karina Skurk had a huge serving run early in the first set and the Pirates cruised through the first two sets against Phoenix before having a battle in the third.
By the end of the match, Skurk and Samuels had six aces each and Ward had 12 kills and Jamie Foster 11.
Marshfield coach Tammie Montiel said the third-set letdown was partly because she switched up her offense a little bit, letting Taylor Londo, the team’s primary setter, get some time hitting and putting Reagan Rhodes into the setter role.
It’s something the Pirates worked on in practice for the first time Wednesday, and that has potential. Londo had six kills and Rhodes six assists in the win over Phoenix.
Reedsport then got its own win against Phoenix, though in much more dramatic fashion.
“All season long, the first two sets, we make a lot of mistakes,” Reedsport coach James Hixenbaugh said. “They got going that third set, and quit giving up free points.”
Reedsport played far better than during the Mount Angel tournament over the weekend and their home jamboree a day earlier.
“That was night and day better,” Seeley said. “Everyone put in the effort. We were all working together and contributing as a team and family.”
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The effort carried over into the match with Marshfield, though Reedsport wasn’t able to keep up through all of the first two sets.
Reedsport led 11-10 in the first set after an ace by Jenna Corcoran before the Pirates pulled away.
Marshfield jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the second set before Reedsport pulled within three points numerous times, the last at 22-19 on an ace by Cheyanne McCart.
Ward and Samuels had kills to end the set in Marshfield’s favor.
In the final set, Reedsport’s confidence grew and its offense became more efficient.
Corcoran had four of her six kills in the final set and added an ace and stuff block. Haylee Lent had two kills, and ace and a stuff block.
Corcoran’s stuff block, immediately following one of her kills, gave Reedsport a 22-16 lead and all the momentum.
But Ward had a kill, Aryanna Mill a stuff block, Ward an ace, Makenna Anderson a kill and Ward two more from the back row to tie the match.
Reedsport finally stopped the run on a kill by Lent, but Marshfield got the final three points to round out the match.
Ward said the Brave gave the Pirates a great match.
“We knew they were a scrappy team,” she said. “They held with us. It was a very competitive game.”
Ward had another big match for the Pirates, both with her offense and with her defense. She finished with 10 kills and 10 digs. Foster added seven kills and Anderson had six aces and 10 digs. Londo had 20 assists and three kills.
Riley Wright had five kills and 10 digs for Reedsport. Divinity Farris had 11 digs and Seeley had 15 assists.
Hixenbaugh said he was pleased with Reedsport’s effort during the day, and looking forward to seeing if it carries over when the Brave host the Les Schwab Tournament on Saturday.
“Hopefully we grew a lot tonight,” he said. “That’s been our focus — (not making) mistakes on our side of the net.”
Meanwhile, Montiel was looking forward to seeing how her team fares in the Cascade Tournament, which includes Junction City and Cottage Grove from the Sky-Em League with Marshfield. No. 2 Sweet Home is the highest ranked team in the field.
“It will be interesting to see how they play on Saturday,” she said.