COOS BAY — Ravyn Miranda gave Marshfield volleyball coach Tammie Montiel a big birthday present Tuesday when the Pirates hosted Creswell in the second match of Marshfield’s night.
The Pirates had already swept North Valley and seen Creswell beat the Knights in four sets, so Marshfield expected a good battle when Miranda stepped to the service line to start the match.
Seven aces and two Creswell timeouts later, Marshfield led 17-0 and was on the way to a sweep of the Bulldogs, 25-5, 25-13, 25-19, that kept the Pirates unbeaten.
“I didn’t expect it,” Miranda said. “When we watched North Valley and Creswell play, Creswell was a very good serve-receive team.”
But the Bulldogs had trouble with Miranda’s tough jump serve all night — she eventually finished with 14 aces.
Miranda has made serving a personal priority after a shoulder injury kept her from being able to serve in the first part of the season.
“I had to make up for lost time,” Miranda said.
She wasn’t the only Marshfield player giving Creswell fits. The Pirates had 21 aces in all.
But they won because of a lot more than the serving. Their own serve receive was good all night, making things easy for Miranda, the team’s setter, and hitters Alex Locati, Mallory Heyer, Kenadi Rhodes and McKayla Myrand all had great matches, too.
“The first game against North Valley, our hitters didn’t get off to a good start,” Miranda said.
Locati had nine kills, Rhodes added seven, Heyer six and Myrand three.
Miranda said having the wealth of hitters is a luxury she enjoys.
“(It’s great) knowing I don’t have to keep going to one person,” she said. “I can trust them all.”
Montiel said she expects Miranda to get even better as the season progresses since she is Marshfield’s primary setter this year instead of splitting time with Myrand.
It helps when the team passes well.
“It was good tonight,” Montiel said. “That’s one thing that hasn’t been great in most of our matches.
“After our dismal serve receive on the weekend, we focused on that in practice yesterday."
After Marshfield dominated the first set, Creswell put up a better fight in the next two, but never was able to get much going against Marshfield’s defense.
Cedar Ward had several blocks at the net and the Pirates dug up most of Creswell’s attacks that didn’t sail out of bounds. Breanna Dapron led the Bulldogs with eight kills and Bailey Howell had four, but nine of those came in the third set alone.
The Bulldogs kept that set relatively close, but it ended, fittingly, with a kill by Myrand.
The match was Marshfield’s final tuneup before hosting Junction City to start Sky-Em play on Thursday at home.
“I am excited to end on that and go to league play with good momentum,” Locati said.
Earlier Tuesday, the Pirates beat North Valley 25-19, 25-23, 25-20.
Locati had 12 kills against the Knights and Rhodes and Mryand combined for 11 more. Myrand also had 14 digs and Locati 13. Miranda had 28 assists, five more than she had against Creswell.
As a longtime volleyball coach and former player with a September birthday, Montiel has spent a lot of her birthdays at volleyball matches. She said she hasn’t been on the winning side of all of them — she remembers a loss to a Midwestern League team early in her coaching career and another as a player when she was in college — but wins are always nice.
Especially against a strong team like Creswell, a squad that swept the Pirates the past two seasons and that, though younger this season, is still talented.
“We kept the pressure on them to make them not be able to do the things that they do (well),” Montiel said.
At 9-0, Marshfield is the only remaining unbeaten team in Class 4A. They are third in the Oregon School Activities Association's power rankings. The top-ranked team is Cottage Grove, one of Marshfield's new Sky-Em League foes.