Viks volleyball drops heartbreaker to Pirates

Junior Desi Tupua prepares to serve versus Marshfield on Sept. 23.

Raucous crowd watches intense five-set match

Sept. 28, 2021 — Marshfield d Siuslaw 16-25, 25-19, 23-25, 26-24, 15-10

A packed house saw the Vikings lose a back-and-forth battle between two top Sky-Em League volleyball teams when Marshfield downed Siuslaw 3-2 on Sept. 23.

In addition to a large Viking crowd, many fans made the trip from Coos Bay to support their Pirates. Both sides of Glen Butler Court were nearly full. The Siuslaw student section was especially active and, with the Viking cheerleaders, did their best to will every rally in the home team’s favor.

The first game was all Siuslaw

“The girls came out strong right out of the gates, gained an early lead and really made an impression,” said Viking Coach Kari Blake. “They were communicating well, making smart decisions and working their tails off.”

Siuslaw won 25-16.

“The energy in the gym was definitely fueling their momentum,” said Blake.

The Pirates took a four point lead early in Game 2 that they never gave up and evened the match at one game apiece, 25-19.

In Game 3, the Vikings went up six early, 17-11, and after a ferocious Pirate comeback, barely hung on to win 25-23.

The mood in the gym had reached a fever pitch by Game 4. The Siuslaw student section serenaded their team with a rendition of the John Denver classic “Country Roads” as junior Desi Tupua served early in the set. She rewarded them immediately with two aces to put the Viks up 4-2.

Soon after, some of that enthusiasm was dampened when the Pirates went on a run and scored six straight to go up 8-7. Scoring went back and forth, and the lead changed hands four times before the Vikings tied it at 24-24.

Much to the home crowd’s chagrin, the Pirates scored the next two to win Game 4 26-24. The final point hit the line and was only centimeters from being out of bounds and a point for Siuslaw, a point that would have tied the score instead of giving victory to Marshfield.

The close loss in Game 4 may have taken some wind from this Viking ship’s sails as the Pirates took the lead early and never gave it up to beat the Viks 15-10 and take the match 3-2.

Highlights from the stat sheet include a team-leading 15 kills for junior Mylee Blake. Tupua was second in Viking kills with 14 (along with 3 blocks) and junior Hailee Outlaw had 7. Sophomore Rhianna Lane and Alizabeth Norton tied for team lead in blocks with 4 a piece.

“I have full faith in the girls and their ability to bounce back,” said Blake. “It'll be a long road in league from here with an early loss, but I have no doubt these girls will take the lessons learned from tonight and keep moving forward towards their goals.  I'm not going to lie though, that loss was a tough pill to swallow.”

Even after the loss, the official OSAA 4A Rankings, at press deadlines, have the Vikings (13th) above the Pirates (14th) and the rematch in Coos Bay on Oct. 12 will be important in deciding the teams that will represent the Sky-Em League in the state tournament.

The Vikings were on the court Tuesday at Elmira after press deadlines and host Junction City on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6:45 p.m.