Astoria scores big victory at the net

Astoria's Aurora Grafton, No. 3, tries to spike the ball while defended by Tillamook's Jordan Zweifel, No. 8, during a volleyball match last fall in Astoria.

SEASIDE — Astoria outlasted Rainier in a volleyball marathon match Thursday, as the Lady Fishermen topped one of the top 3A programs in the state in five games, 23-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 15-5.

“Every game was close, except the last one,” said Astoria coach Jessie Todd, following her second win in two matches.

“I was real pleased with how the girls persevered and didn’t get down,” she said. “It’s a good win, because Mike (Edwards, the Rainier coach) always has a good program.”

The Columbians’ Breana Edwards — a “very big, very good player,” Todd said — was held in check by the Fishermen.

“Jacqueline (Jarrett) stuffed her, and Darian (Hageman) also had some nice blocks,” Todd said. “All the girls played well. I was pleased with my setters (Aurora Grafton and Madi Landwehr). They did a nice job of placing their sets. And we talked about moving our block back and forth, and we did a nice job of executing that.”

Astoria takes part in the annual Southridge Tournament Saturday, where the Lady Fishermen will face Southridge, McMinnville and Estacada in pool play.

The Columbians had to play two matches Thursday, back-to-back.

Before facing Astoria, Rainier defeated Seaside in three games, 25-20, 27-25, 25-12.