Teamwork

Marshfield’s Liz Bonner dives to bump a ball as teammate Paige MacDuff looks on during Tuesday’s match against Siuslaw. Bonner was one of four seniors honored before their final regular-season home match.

 

Marshfield’s inconsistent volleyball results took a turn for the worse Tuesday when the Pirates were beaten at home by Siuslaw in a match between teams that entered the night tied for second in the Sky-Em League.

Marshfield, which won at Siuslaw early in the season, couldn’t muster enough offense against the tough defense of the Vikings in a 25-10, 25-12, 17-25, 25-17 victory for the Vikings.

Siuslaw used exceptional passing to set up its offense throughout the night, as well as strong defense at the net to limit Marshfield’s attack.

“When we played them up there, they struggled out of serve receive,” Marshfield coach Tammie Montiel said of the earlier five-set win over the Vikings. “Tonight, they were just as good in serve receive as they were in defense.”

Siuslaw’s setter hardly had to move most of the night as the Vikings repeatedly gave her the all in a good position to set up the offense. And that gave the Vikings lots of chances for Desiree Tupua, Hailee Outlaw and Rhianna Lane.Tupua, in particular, was a daunting force against the Pirates with numerous kills in all four sets, repeatedly slamming the ball past the Pirates’ blockers and into open spaces on the court.

“They were on tonight,” Siuslaw coach Kari Blake said. “They’re a fun group when they are on.”

It wasn’t just the offense that was carrying the Vikings. The front line blocked or tipped many of Marshfield’s attacks, resulting in quick points for Siuslaw or easy chances for libero Hayden Muller and the rest of the back row to make passes to the setter.

The Pirates, who had handed Cottage Grove its first league loss in their last match, only avoided the sweep with a strong third set.

“They gained some of their energy like what they had against Cottage Grove,” Montiel said, adding that the enthusiasm helped lead to a better attack.

Marshfield started the fourth set off with a 6-1 lead and seemingly had all the momentum, but it disappeared quickly as the Vikings caught up on the way to victory.

“We let them come back,” Montiel said, adding that part of her message to the squad was “when we’ve got a lead, to not let teams back in.”

Marshfield was led by Tatum Montiel’s 28 kills, but no teammates had more than three. Kate Miles had 22 digs and Paige MacDuff had 17. Ava Ainsworth had 29 assists.

Siuslaw improved to 5-2 while Marshfield fell to 4-3, tied with Junction City for third place. Both teams still have to play Junction City on the road, while the Vikings still visit Cottage Grove and Marshfield has to go to traditionally tough Marist Catholic.

The Pirates are still in good shape if they can quickly right the ship.

“I feel good if we take care of ourselves the rest of the way,” Tammie Montiel said. “We can’t let this define us for the rest of what we do in league.”

Because of a scheduling quirk that has all three remaining league matches for the Pirates on the road, Tuesday’s match also was senior night for Marshfield’s Makiah George, Liz Bonner, Aryana Mill and Phe MacDuff.

Those seniors still have one more day of matches on their home court though, when Marshfield hosts its annual invitational Saturday, a 16-team event that will feature several other South Coast clubs.

BULLDOGS GET BIG WIN: North Bend went the distance on the road, but picked up a key Midwestern League victory, edging host Crater 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 15-8 on Tuesday.

North Bend improved to 11-1 in league play, keeping pace with Churchill (12-1) in the race for the league title. The Bulldogs and Lancers split their matches this season, each winning on the other’s home court.

Next up on the league schedule for North Bend were matches against Ashland at home Thursday (results weren’t available by press time) and third-place Thurston at home next Tuesday. In between those matches, the Bulldogs play in the Marshfield Invitational on Saturday.

COQUILLE TAKES TWO: Coquille kept its Sunset Conference record perfect as the Red Devils race to catch up on two weeks worth of postponed matches, beating Waldport 25-12, 25-10, 16-25, 25-19 on Monday and Gold Beach 25-13, 25-8, 25-22 on Tuesday.

Those matches both were at home, but the Red Devils have five of their final six league matches away from home, including Myrtle Point on Wednesday (results weren’t available) and both Toledo and Waldport on Friday. Toledo and Reedsport are closes to Coquille in the standings, each with two losses. The Red Devils visit the Brave next Wednesday.

Reedsport swept Waldport Tuesday on the road, 25-12, 28-26, 25-16.

CRUISERS CLINCH DIVISION: Powers clinched the title in the Class 1A Skyline League’s south division by sweeping host New Hope 25-13, 25-23, 25-16 on Tuesday.

The win puts the Cruisers straight into the upcoming league tournament at Marshfield, where Powers will need a win to qualify for the 16-team Class 1A playoff bracket.

Powers coach Heather Shorb said she is excited by how her squad is playing.

“The team has been doing well,” she said. “We have been working hard to prepare and win the games we need to win.”

That included a win over Camas Valley last week that put Powers in the position to clinch the division Tuesday.

“Camas was a great win,” Shorb said. “We were able to keep our energy level up and work together even though the last set we started off down by quite a few points.”

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