SEASIDE — The Astoria volleyball team is pretty much assured of a spot in the regional play-in round — now they’re just playing for a home match in preparation for the state playoffs.
Astoria posted its fourth win in league play Tuesday in a Clatsop Smash victory at Seaside, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20.
“It was definitely a tough match,” said Astoria coach Jessie Todd, whose team came in rated No. 10 in the latest OSAA rankings. “We knew it was going to be a battle. It’s at Seaside and it’s a rivalry match, with the emotions running high.
“But we did a good job of being in control and harnessing our emotions,” she said. “We played well defensively, my setters did a good job of moving the blockers around, and made great choices for the hitters.”
Still looking for their first league victory, the Gulls still played well and kept it close.
Seaside rallied from a deficit before falling in Game 1, then bounced back with a win in Game 2.
“Really all night it was back and forth,” Todd said. “The lead was going back and forth in Games 2, 3 and 4.”
Astoria spread out its offensive attack, as Chelsea Christensen led the way with 10 kills, followed by Madi Landwehr with nine, and Kes Sandstrom and Julia Norris with eight apiece.
Former Gull Corrin Howard finished with 45 digs to lead Astoria, with Christensen adding 29 and Kira Worwood 16; Darian Hageman had a team-high six blocks followed by Landwehr with five.
“We had a pretty good block game tonight,” Todd said. “I was real happy with the net play, and our blockers are improving.”
Astoria is now alone in third place in the league standings at 4-3, one game ahead of Scappoose, and two games behind Tillamook, which plays at Astoria Thursday.
“That’s the league,” Todd said. “Any team can beat any other team on any given night, so you have to be ready, mentally prepared and focused every night.
“We only lost two seniors last year, and to see them bounce back after the 0-10 record last year is really nice,” she added of her team, which improves to 9-6 overall, the most wins for Lady Fishermen volleyball since posting 10 wins in 2014.
“I’m proud of them,” Todd said. “A big reason is the leadership and maturity that we have. I’m excited and overjoyed for them, the community’s coming out and we’re getting a lot of support.”