The Siuslaw volleyball team found out what happens when you have to play a highly-ranked Cowapa League team in the play-in round.

The Vikings did not stand much of a chance Tuesday night at the Brick House, where Astoria eliminated Siuslaw in quick fashion, 25-21, 25-16, 25-19.

Third-place finishers in their own league but ranked fifth in the state, the Lady Fishermen showed that they’re ready to make a big run in the upcoming state tournament, Nov. 8-9 at Forest Grove High School.

But first, Astoria will host a first round state playoff contest Saturday, time and opponent to be announced.

The Vikings had their moments in Tuesday’s match (a 5-1 lead in Game 1), but Astoria was never seriously threatened after the first set.

Siuslaw never led in Game 2 or 3, managing only a 1-1 tie in the second set, and 3-3 in the third.

Other than that, the Fishermen held the lead for the remainder of the match, which took just an hour and 10 minutes to complete.

And whenever the Vikings did reel off more than a few points in a row, Astoria went to their rally-stopper, junior Kelsey Fausett.

Tied 13-13 in Game 1, Fausett lined a kill down the center of the court to spark a Fishermen rally, helping Astoria outscore Siuslaw 8-1 to take a commanding lead.

Halle Helmersen and Skylar Sturtz added ace serves during the big run, and Julia Norris finished the deal, setting Taja Tuimato for a kill, then delivering an off-speed kill of her own at game point.

Astoria built a 10-2 advantage in the second set, but Siuslaw’s 6-foot senior outside hitter, Mia Collins, led a rally that helped the Vikings close to within 11-9.

But Astoria turned on the Fausett again, as she posted kills off sets from Norris and Tuiamato, which was followed by a pair of spikes from Helmersen.

Another Fausett kill made it 21-12, and Norris set Fausett twice down the stretch for game-ending hits.

The Vikings were within 11-10 in the third set, but Fausett showed that she could be effective from the serve line as well.

Fausett took over and served up nine straight points for a 20-10 lead, with three aces during the run.

The Vikings made one last gasp and closed to within 21-17, but a kill by Kajsa Jackson and Tuimato’s directional tap at match point capped Astoria’s win.

Fausett led Astoria with eight kills, followed by Helmersen with seven and Jackson with five kills to go with three blocks.

The early start was part of Astoria’s slow start, said coach Jessie Todd.

“We tried to stay in a regular routine, but the early start, plus nerves were a part of it,” she said. “In the post-season matches, you’re always fighting a few nerves.

“But we played fairly smart tonight,” Todd said. “We moved the ball well, and did OK against (Collins). She’s a good player, and she’s going to get her kills.”

In other 4A play-in match action, Philomath finished Seaside’s season with a three-game sweep over the Gulls, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, at Philomath.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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