LONGVIEW — Three Rivers Christian handed the Comets their first league loss of the season, 25-23, 25-13, 25-16 on Oct. 26. The Eagles scored the final six points of the first set, and the Comets never really recovered. The teams split their two regular season matchups. The Comets finish 7-1, first place in the league, while the Eagles finish 6-2. Naselle will open the playoffs at home Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. (after deadline) against Taholah.
The Comets were off with their hits, finishing with more errors than kills, and missed with a few too many of their digs against a top opponent. The Comets often found themselves hitting right into Eagle blockers. Bailey Williams-Wallace had a particularly dominant performance for the Eagles.
“They were just the better team today. That’s all there is to it,” said Comets’ libero Lily Harman, who had a strong defensive game with 22 digs.
The Comets went on a 13-4 run to take a 23-19 opening set lead. Three Rivers scored the final six points, closing out the set with an ace serve that the Comets let go, but that landed just in-bounds. The Eagles kept momentum, jumping out to a big early lead in the second set. Williams-Wallace pounced against the reeling Comets, reaching over for a spike to make it 13-6 and shortly adding a pair of emphatic kills. The Eagles stretched the lead to a commanding 18-8 and cruised to win the set.
The Comets turned things around for a while in the third set. Taylor Gudmundson found an abandoned corner with a setter dump for an early third set lead. Holly Disch followed with a kill to a back row gap to make it 5-3. But the Eagles regained control with a 10-1 run, then extended the lead to 19-8.
Holly Disch made a spectacular play late. She dove for a stop on third contact and got it over, while avoiding giving the Eagles a free ball, then quickly got up and spiked the return to cut it to 20-13. But the Comets never came any closer.