It's only one win, as their coach pointed out - but you can still call it a "crucial" win for the Astoria Fishermen.
Facing their Clatsop Smash rivals in a pivotal Cowapa League volleyball match, in front of their raucous home crowd crazies, with both teams unbeaten in league play ... the Lady Fish literally rose to the challenge Thursday night.
Three players had nine kills each, to help Astoria score a quick three-game win over Seaside, 25-16, 25-21, 25-14.
"In all honesty, you only get one win when you beat Seaside," said Astoria coach Eric Gohr. "The last time I checked, it's only worth one Cowapa League win.
"We have to play them again at their house. They're well-coached, their girls play hard, and we're going to have to battle for every point in every game."
While it's a coach's job to downplay wins and keep their teams focused, the Astoria players were excited about the victory.
"It's Seaside. It's the Clatsop Clash, and we always want to come out with a win," said Astoria senior Jordan Thoreson.
"It was fun with our fans and Seaside's fans," said Astoria's Kayce Lilley. "There's always a lot of people there when it's a Clatsop Clash.
"We wanted to come out fast at the beginning," she added. "We started off a little slower than we wanted to, but we were able to come back and finish in three, so it's good."
Seaside held leads in all three games (including 5-2 in Game 3), but Astoria rallied in all three and stayed one step ahead of the Gulls all night.
"We got off to slow starts in all three games," Gohr said. "Seaside had some good serving to start all three, and that's something that we'll address in practice."
The key, he said, is defense.
"When we play well, we're able to play defense with the same intensity as other teams, and that's been a problem early on in the year, and last year at times, too.
"If we can have the defensive intensity that equals the other team's defensive intensity, then I think we have a shot to beat some teams."
Astoria took the lead for good in Game 1 on Kat Gauthier's kill off the block, and it was Gauthier who finished it off with another kill off a set from Lilley at game point.
Thoreson added a block on a hit by Riley Tadei, while Haley Larson and Kelsie Houghtaling both served up aces.
The Gulls jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in Game 2, but Astoria rallied behind Lilley's serving to score six straight points and never trailed again.
Thoreson had a back-row kill, blocked an attempt by Seaside's Taylor Davis at the net, and Lilley set Houghtaling for a kill to the back corner to end a long rally as Astoria's lead reached 24-16.
"We had some momentum, but there were also times when we gave up strings of five points," Gohr said. "And over the long haul that's going to be a problem if we keep doing that. We definitely have some things to work on."
Game 3 was a near replay, as the Fishermen overcame a 5-2 deficit to take a 7-5 lead.
The Gulls kept it close until Thoreson took over at the service line, helping Astoria turn a 9-9 tie into a 14-9 lead.
Gauthier had a pair of kills off sets from Lilley, as did Israel, including a power kill to the back line at match point.
Lilley, Astoria's senior setter, enjoys having so many options to choose from.
"Kelsie is hitting a lot better this year, and Jordan too," Lilley said. "It's really nice. I feel comfortable setting anyone in the rotation."
Thoreson returned the compliment.
"She does wonders for us," Thoreson said of Lilley. "If we didn't have her, we wouldn't know what to do. She's great."
Houghtaling, Israel and Thoreson all had nine kills apiece for the Fishermen, while Israel was 11-for-11 serving.
The Astoria junior varsity defeated Seaside 25-11, 25-17.
Portland Adventist def. WarrentonWARRENTON - The Warrenton volleyball team finally met their match Thursday night, as Portland Adventist became the first team to get past the Warriors in league play.
The Cougars bounced back from a Game 1 loss to defeat Warrenton in four games, 15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.
Angel Legler had a strong all-around night for the Warriors, hitting all 17 of her serves, in addition to her five kills and two blocks.
Payton Hummell played strong at the net, as she pounded out six kills on 23-of-25 hitting, with five blocks. Brooklyn Campbell added three aces with seven kills on 26-for-28 hitting.
Warrenton's Emma Bussert served up three aces on 12-of-13 from the service line.
The Warriors face another tough opponent Tuesday, at Catlin Gabel.
Knappa def. RiverdalePORTLAND - The Knappa Loggers picked up their first Northwest League volleyball victory Thursday, a 24-26, 25-4, 25-11, 25-15 Logger win.
Kaitlyn Junes sparked the Knappa win with five kills and 14-for-14 serving, while teammate Leslie Hebert was 15-of-16 from the service line, and Addie Nichols was 11-for-12 with three aces.
Rachel Tadei paced Knappa at the net, pounding five kills with six blocks. Rae Elliott added four kills for the Loggers, who play Tuesday at Corbett.
Jewell def. Willamette ValleyBROOKS - Jewell overcame a loss in Game 1 to defeat Willamette Valley Christian Thursday night, 19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21.
Sophie Swearingen was on fire at the service line for the Jays, serving up nine aces. Jesika Kaczenski and Amber Meier both had 10 kills to lead the offensive attack.
Boys SoccerAstoria 1, Yamhill-Carlton 1YAMHILL - Astoria had 31 shots on goal to Yamhill-Carlton's four, but the Fishermen had to settle for a 1-1 tie in a Cowapa League boys soccer game Thursday.
"Yamhill knows how to play - they're a very team-centered ball club," said Astoria coach Bill Patterson. "But we missed countless breakaways. We couldn't hit the ocean from the beach."
Astoria's lone goal came in the 43rd minute, with Sean Speer scoring off an assist from Josh Jensen.
The Tigers tied it in the 66th minute, and that was the end of the scoring.
"Maybe this will be a wakeup call for us," Patterson said. "We're no longer in first place. Seaside is in the driver's seat, and that should give us plenty of incentive."
Seaside 2, Tillamook 0WARRENTON - A pair of goals in the first half was all Seaside needed Thursday night to defeat Tillamook 2-0, in a Cowapa League boys soccer contest at H.H. Snow Volunteer Field.
Seaside had plenty more looks, breakaways and shot opportunities, but the Gulls were off target on most of their shots.
Senior Jackson Meyer scored the game's first goal just eight minutes in, unassisted.
Seaside's Jonathan Ortiz added an insurance goal late in the first half, taking a pass from Meyer and scoring from the top of the penalty box.