BAKER — The 2017 season came to a close Saturday afternoon for the Astoria volleyball team in four close, hard-fought games at Baker.
The No. 7-seeded Bulldogs stayed one step ahead of the No. 10-ranked Lady Fishermen, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, in a first-round state playoff match.
Baker advances to the state tournament and the final eight, which will include three Cowapa League teams (Scappoose, Tillamook and Valley Catholic).
A year after finishing 0-10 in league play, Astoria finishes the second year under coach Jessie Todd with a 13-9 overall record, 6-4 in league matches.
And Saturday’s playoff “could have gone either way,” Todd said. “(The Bulldogs) were good. They had a middle who could hit both angles, and a very good outside hitter who could really hit.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Fishermen were able to spread their attack around, as Chelsea Christensen led with six kills, followed by Madi Landwehr, Julia Norris and Kes Sandstrom with five kills apiece. Darian Hageman added three blocks.
Astoria loses six seniors who will be tough to replace, Todd said.
“This group of seniors has been fantastic,” she said. “They were a big part and a big reason why we made it so far. Their leadership, maturity and desire inspired the rest of the team.
“And overall I was real happy with how we played. To have to travel so far was a new experience for them, and I thought they played great.”