KNAPPA - A deadly accurate night from the service line was all the Warrenton volleyball team needed Tuesday night at Knappa, as the Warriors served up a three-game sweep over the Loggers, 25-17, 25-14, 25-18, in a Northwest League match.
The much-needed win for the Warriors was their second three-game sweep in a row. Both teams entered Tuesday's match with 3-3 league records, tied for sixth in the league standings. The top five will move on to the district playoffs, later this month.
"It was nice to have it go this way," said Warrenton coach Dianne Dick. "That was important for us. We've got some tough games left - Clatskanie, Portland Lutheran and Vernonia."
KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian
Kristie Owings (2) dives to return a serve in Tuesday night's volleyball game against Warrenton.On the other side of the net, "it was a tough loss," said Knappa coach Terry Hardy, whose team falls to 3-4. "We're still struggling to find ourselves. I see good things happening all the time."
Serving has not exactly been the strongest part of their game this year, but the Warriors have apparently turned a corner at the service line.
Warrenton hit all 25 of its serves in Game 1, went 23-of-25 in the second game, and finished with a 24-of-25 effort in Game 3 - only three missed serves all night.
"We've been working a lot in practice on just serving," Dick said. "We actually took practice Friday and made it all serving. I thought some of the girls would come back with sore arms."
Leading the charge was Diana Kerr (19-of-19, seven aces), Jenna Beckerman (16-of-18, five aces) and Whitney Johnson and Grace Smith, who had three aces each.
An ace by Kerr and three serve-receive errors on the Loggers gave Warrenton a quick 7-1 lead in Game 1.
Knappa fought back with three straight aces from Nadra Evans to cut the Warrior lead to 12-9, and another ace by freshman Meagan Harn tied the game at 15-15.
But as they would all night, the Warriors had the last say, as Beckerman pounded a kill, Kerr served up two more aces, and Warrenton went on a 6-1 run to end the game.
In addition to their serve-receive problems, the Loggers struggled from the service line in Game 2. Two missed serves by Knappa - coupled with back-to-back aces by Warrenton's Ashley Johnson, Whitney Johnson and Smith - helped the Warriors build a 15-6 lead on their way to the win.
One of the Warriors' problems all season has been finishing matches strong, and that nearly cost Warrenton in Game 3.
A big run by the Loggers with Kristie Owings at the service line gave Knappa a 12-8 lead, following a big block by Evans on an attack by Katie Arnall.
The Logger lead eventually reached 15-10, but the Warriors went on a 15-3 run to finish the sweep. Amber Hayward had assists on kills by Kerr, Whitney Johnson and Smith to spark the run.
"I was a little nervous there in the third game," Dick said, "because we started misreading who was going to hit, and where the set was going ... I was just thinking, 'don't start doing this again you guys.'
"Knappa got a bit of a lead, and I called a timeout," she said. "I wanted the girls to fix it on their own, and I really felt like they did."
Warrenton plays at Clatskanie Thursday, while Knappa plays at Vernonia.
Astoria sweeps TillamookTILLAMOOK - The Astoria volleyball team spent most of the night on the comeback trail, and the end of the trail was a successful one for the Fishermen, who swept their way past Tillamook, 25-22, 25-23, 28-26 in a Cowapa League match at Tillamook.
Astoria was down 18-11 in Game 1 before rallying for the win, then trailed 19-10 and 21-13 in the third game before coming back.
Heather Arnold had 13 kills to lead the Fishermen (2-5 in league), while Heidi Hanson and Shelby Cullen each had 10 kills. Hanson added two blocks and Cullen came up with 18 digs and two ace serves.
"It was a real confidence-booster," said Astoria coach Angee Hunt. "We just kept with the game plan and never let the score interfere with what we were trying to do."
Shyra Merila dished out 31 assists for Astoria, which hosts Seaside Thursday.
In other Cowapa League action Tuesday, Rainier defeated Scappoose 25-12, 25-18, 25-15.
Braves down GullsBANKS - After playing well in their weekend tournament, the Seaside volleyball team struggled Tuesday night at Banks, as the Braves posted a 25-15, 25-10, 25-14 Cowapa League win over the Gulls.
Seaside slips to 2-5 in league, and plays at Astoria Thursday.
"None of us had our 'A' game tonight, including myself," said Seaside coach Jason Boyd. "We just seemed to be stuck in cement all night long.
"When we passed, we hit the ball well and we only missed one serve all night," said Boyd, whose team played well in last Saturday's Seaside Invitational. "Maybe we need to play all our games on Saturday. We play great on the weekend."
Comettes sweep OwlsELMA, Wash. - Kelli Revis and Annie Herrold both had big games at the net for Naselle, leading the Comettes to a sweep at Mary M. Knight Tuesday night, 25-22, 25-11, 25-19.
Naselle, 7-2 overall, hosts Lake Quinalt Thursday.
Rainier Columbians 7-0
Banks Braves 5-2
Tillamook Cheesemakers 5-2
Astoria Fishermen 2-5
Seaside Seagulls 2-5
Scappoose Indians 0-7
Astoria def. Tillamook, 3-0
Banks def. Seaside, 3-0
Rainier def. Scappoose, 3-0