Astoria d Siuslaw
25-21, 25-16, 25-19
Nov. 2, 2019 — The Vikings volleyball season came to a close Tuesday night as Siuslaw lost its first playoff game to Astoria, which won the match in a three-set sweep, 3-0. But despite the loss, the players’ mood was upbeat at the end.
“It was weird, there wasn’t a somber mood like there was against our last home game against Junction City,” Coach Hornung said. “This was more like, the girls knew we fought hard and we ultimately lost. The worst thing would have been if we played poorly and lost because of that, but that wasn’t the case. We played as a team, we played hard and, ultimately, they beat us. The mood was positive.”
Securing the playoff spot was never a sure bet for the team, which had a mixture of seasoned and new players.
“We weren’t expecting to do as well as we did in the season,” Hornung said. “I think that the successes that we had were really great. We had some points where we could have won games but we didn’t, but ultimately we fought hard in every match.”
And it’s that fighting spirit that led them to the Astoria on Tuesday night.
“The girls were excited,” Hornung said. “That taste of playoffs is something new to some of those who haven’t played varsity. That single-elimination, you’re playing a team you haven’t played before, you’re in a new town.”
The Viks held on to that spirit in the first set, where they came out strong and held on to the lead for the first half.
“It was close around the 15-point mark, which is when they got a couple-point lead on us, and they were able to put us away,” Hornung said. “We were in striking distance, but they made a couple of big plays at the end.”
The set ended in a 25-21 loss for the Viks. In the second set, Astoria came out strong.
“We did battle back, we got to even at 10-10,” Hornung said. “But then we had a couple of errors that let them build up a lead, so they put us away.”
The third set was the same, with Astoria building a large lead at the beginning. The Viks fought back but ultimately fell to the Fighting Fishermen.
Tuesday’s game had a host of standout moments for the Viks, which had Mia Collins playing in the middle making some big hits and blocks.
“Desi Tupua also played really, really well in the beginning. The defense was solid. Lindsay Long played really well in back row with a lot of digs,” said Hornung. “We didn’t make a ton of mistakes. That was something we could hang our hat on. We didn’t just roll over and let them beat us. We went down swinging hard and going for points.”
As for next season, Hornung said that the loss of players such as Mia Collins and Elissa Hurley will be hard on the team, the outlook is still positive.
“We have a good core,” he said. “We have a good group of girls coming up from middle school who’ve been part of the program. They’ll be able to be plugged in. We’re hoping that with more communication with the middle school and more connection with us going down there, next year’s group can seamlessly transition into high school. That can be a positive thing.”
And for the past season?
“We played fun,” Hornung said. “We went out there every game thinking we could compete, and we did. That’s something we weren’t really sure we could do at the beginning of the season. To being able to look back at each match and say, ‘We fought hard, we played our best.’ That was really cool.”