WALDPORT — Volleyball is a momentum sport and on Tuesday, Toledo had it at the right time.
The Boomers rallied back from down two sets and down 13-17 in the third set to beat Reedsport and earn a spot in the Class 2A playoffs. Reedsport’s season ended with the 19-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14, 15-12 loss in the tiebreaker match at Waldport High School after the two teams tied for second in the Sunset Conference.
“I feel like we fought hard, I just wish it could have ended better,” said Reedsport setter Makenzie Seeley. “We had all the momentum and we let it go. We never completely recovered.”
Reedsport was seemingly in control of the match after winning the first set behind six kills from Aubree Rohde and the second on the strength of a big service run by Divinity Farris and then taking the 17-13 lead in the third.
But almost in an instant, momentum changed.
Toledo coach Crystal Taylor called timeout and the Boomers came back helped by Reedsport errors and the offensive firepower of Kaycie Otis. She had kills for three of Toledo’s final five points in the set, including one on set point to extend the match to a fourth set.
And that’s when the momentum really shifted.
Toledo jumped in front 5-1. After Reedsport pulled within 7-5, the Boomers scored 12 points in a row, including 11 straight service points for Rylee Richards. During that run, Astrid Knott had three stuff blocks and two kills.
Toledo led the set 21-6 before Reedsport showed some life, including three kills and a stuff block by Riley Wright.
The deficit was too big to overcome in the set, but Reedsport hoped its newfound momentum would carry over to the fifth set.
It didn’t. Toledo scored the first five points and led 8-2 after the fifth kill of the set by Otis.
Again Reedsport came back, even getting within 13-11 on back-to-back kills by Wright before the Boomers finally put the match away with two kills in the final three points by Otis.
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That finished a night when the athletic Toledo senior, whose parents ironically both graduated from Reedsport, had 28 kills and 14 digs.
“It was just crazy,” Otis said of Toledo’s comeback. “Us seniors — there are seven of us — we just knew we had to come back. Our energy just came up and our confidence rose.”
A year ago, Reedsport edged out Toledo for a playoff spot by one game in the league standings.
Now Toledo is headed to the playoffs in volleyball for the first time in recent years.
“This was definitely our year,” Otis said. “We’ve been talking about it since freshman year. We’ve always wanted to go to state in all three sports.”
Toledo advanced to the playoffs in basketball and reached the semifinals in softball last year. The Boomers hope volleyball is the start of a big year.
Reedsport coach James Hixenbaugh told his team he was proud of them after the match, and also gave Toledo credit for its comeback.
“You could tell both teams wanted it,” Hixenbaugh said. “It was a fun match.”
A number of players for both teams had strong matches.
Wright had 14 kills, nine digs and three stuff blocks for Reedsport and Rohde had 12 kills and 14 digs. Jesse Corcoran had 10 kills and 13 digs. Seeley had 38 assists and four kills and Farris had four aces.
For Toledo, Knott had five kills and five stuff blocks, Klaira Flatt and Cameron Fisher had six kills each, and Tana’ya Barnhart and 18 digs and four kills.
The Boomers will visit No. 2 Central Linn in the playoffs on Saturday.