ASTORIA — Tied for third in the Cowapa League standings with 1-3 records is not where the Astoria and Seaside volleyball teams expected to be, heading into the second half of league play.
But that’s where the two rivals found themselves Oct. 4 at the Brick House, for match No. 5 of the eight-match league schedule.
The winner would find itself back in the race for second place, while the loser will have some catching up to do.
Astoria’s Kes Sandstrom hammered out 16 kills, and the Fishermen completed their league sweep over the Gulls with a three-game sweep, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16.
The win came five days after Seaside defeated Astoria in a best two-of-three match in a tournament at Hood River.
The Fishermen led from start to finish in Game 1, building a 13-5 lead behind some early kills and block by Kelsey Fausett, a cross-court shot from Taja-Rae Tuimato, and Tuimato’s sets to Halle Helmersen and Kes Sandstrom for kills off the block.
Seaside battled back to within 15-13, but Astoria outscored the Gulls 10-6, with Tuimato setting Julia Norris for a kill at game point.
The Gulls held their only leads in Game 2, at 6-4, 7-5 and 9-7.
Astoria charged back with long serving runs by Helmersen and Norris, who turned a 16-12 lead into a 22-12 advantage, capped by two straight kills from Fausett.
Fausett finished with 26 digs and six kills.
Again, the Gulls rallied in Game 2 and pulled to within 23-21 after a pair of Astoria attacks sailed over the back line, coupled with an ace by Tori Tomlin and Anna Huddleston’s set to Ellisa Blodgett for a kill.
But Astoria called a timeout to regroup, scored the next point and won a long rally at game point for a two-match lead.
The third game was never close, as Hailey O’Brien’s long serving run helped the Fishermen grab a 14-3 lead.
Gulls defeat Braves
“The proudest moment of my coaching career,” is how first-year coach Demi Lund described her first league win with the Seaside volleyball team, which defeated Banks in four sets Oct. 2.
Seaside’s 25-16, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20 gives the Gulls a 10-9 overall record, 1-3 in the Cowapa League standings (in a three-way tie for third with Astoria and Banks).
“We definitely gained some momentum over the weekend (with a three-set win over Astoria in the Hood River Valley Tournament),” Lund said. “We’re finally playing with some confidence.
“Banks is a well-rounded team, and if you give them an inch, they will take a mile,” she said. “So we didn’t let them get any big strings of points. We fought hard, and my seniors were really team leaders tonight.”
Senior Tori Tomlin led the Gulls with 16 kills and five solo blocks, while senior Morgan Blodgett added 12 kills with three solo blocks and four block assists.
“My middles were definitely the stars of the match,” Lund said.
Gulls def. Astoria
HOOD RIVER — The Astoria and Seaside volleyball teams tuned up for the Clatsop Clash meeting later this week with a best two-of-three nonleague match Sept. 29, at the Hood River Tournament.
In bracket play competition, the Gulls rallied to score the victory, 20-25, 25-12, 15-11.
Seaside advanced but was defeated by Class 5A Hood River Valley, 25-18, 25-22.