WARRENTON — The schedule for Tuesday’s “minitournament” at Warrenton High School turned out just about right.
The winners of the first two matches met in Match No. 3, as the host Warriors faced Seaside in a local volleyball showdown between a pair of teams with a few interesting connections.
In the end, the team that entered the tournament with three wins in their last four matches, is now 5-1 in their last six, as Seaside topped Warrenton in three straight, 25-19, 25-21, 25-25-23.
The Warriors were able to sweep league rival Rainier in the day’s first contest to end a three-match losing skid, but two hours later, 3A Warrenton fell short against the Class 4A Seagulls.
Seaside’s win ended a busy few hours for the Gulls, who had just finished a four-set win over the Columbians (25-18, 25-18, 25-27, 25-14) before facing Warrenton.
“I’ve been trying to make conditioning a part of every practice, so we can go those long matches/days,” said Seaside coach Demi Lund, whose team improves to 7-3 overall.
The Warriors got two points closer in every set vs. Seaside, but too many serving errors, hitting errors and passing errors proved too costly for Warrenton.
Meanwhile, Seaside set the tone in Game 1, jumping out to leads of 7-0 and 13-2.
Seaside’s Tristyn McFadden — who had a cousin on the other side of the court (Warrenton’s Mia McFadden) — had four straight service aces in helping the Gulls post their big lead.
Ace serves by Warrenton’s Avyree Miethe and Leah Schiewe helped the Warriors rally to within 21-17, but as they would in every game, the Gulls made the clutch hits, serves, passes and blocks to close out each set.
Tristyn McFadden ended Game 1 with, fittingly, another ace serve.
The hot server in Game 2 was Schiewe, who served up three straight aces, helping the Warriors turn an 8-8 tie into a 15-9 lead, their largest of the match.
Seaside answered with a long run of its own, as Emma Meyer took over at the service line and was instrumental in helping the Gulls reel off an 11-1 run.
Seaside’s Emma Brown and Warrenton’s Melia Kapua exchanged ace serves, while Warrenton rallied to tie the game at 21-21.
But the next four points belonged to Seaside. Highlighted by a kill from Ellisa Blodgett (who played for the Warriors two years ago) off a set from Meyer, the Gulls closed strong to take a two games-to-none advantage.
In Game 3, Seaside took another quick 7-2 lead, before long serving runs by Warrenton’s Nora Ayo and Schiewe, bringing the Warriors to within 11-10.
The Gulls maintained a two- to three-point lead, before Warrenton finally caught Seaside at 17-17.
From there, the Warriors had three consecutive serving errors, while the Gulls had a kill from Blodgett (to break Schiewe’s serve), and a block for a 24-21 lead.
Warrenton’s Annie Heyen had a block on Brown to bring the Warriors to within 24-23, but Seaside’s McFadden closed out the match with the final serve for the sweep.
Blodgett and Brown led the Gulls in kills, while “Emma Meyer is now running a 5-1 (formation) as our setter, playing all the way around and she has really stepped up for the team role,” Lund said. “The girls are continuing to grow and implement what we are learning in practice into their games.”
From their sweep over Rainier to Seaside’s sweep over Warrenton, Warrior coach Staci Miethe said, “what a tale of two different serving games. Against Rainier we served 91 percent as a team with 30 aces (Kapua had eight, three others had seven). Melia in Game 2 had six in a row.”
Against Seaside, she said, “we didn’t serve horrible (80 percent with 12 aces), it’s just that our misses came at the wrong times.”
Elsewhere, “We had great net play all night in both matches,” she said. “Annie Heyen had four solo block kills against Rainier and two more against Seaside. Leah Schiewe added three against Seaside. We just couldn’t seem to get our offense going against Seaside.”