NAPAVINE - A season of success, including a co-championship of the Pacific League, ended in ashes when the Naselle Comettes volleyball team could not win its third game in a match with the Willapa Valley Vikings in the Southwest Washington B District Volleyball Tournament .

The Comettes were playing in the losers-out bracket of the district tournament Friday, Nov., 7, in the Napavine High School gym.

What made the loss especially vexing was the fact that the Comettes played some of their best volleyball of the season in the first two games against the Vikings in jumping out to a 2-0 lead. That meant the Comettes only needed to win one more game in order to advance in the tournament. It didn't happen.

The Comettes suddenly went stone-cold while the Vikings came back with a vengeance. The Vikes won the next three games to win the match 3-2 and the Comettes season was over. The NHS loss came on game scores of: 25-23, 25-9, 16-25, 10-25 and 8-15.

"We played extremely well in those first two games," Naselle coach Debbie Denny said. "Then it was like somebody turned off the lights or something. We did not play well after that."

In game one, Naselle put together a complete game in beating Valley 25-23. Marijane Mobley and Annie Herrold served well, and Kelli Revis did some excellent hitting. Leading the statistics were Revis with five hits and one kill, Herrold with six hits and one kill, Mobley with five hits, Brittanie Vaughn had two hits and played excellent defense to dig out some tough hitting by Valley, according to Denny.

In game two, Naselle kept the momentum and won 25-9. The Comettes were led by Revis with three hits, Herrold with five hits and three kills, Mobley one hit and one kill, and Vaughn with three hits. Katie Klinger and Amanda Badger continued with excellent setting.

"Then it was like someone flipped a switch and Naselle went flat and Valley woke up," said Denny.

"In game three, Valley woke up and ran six straight points and we got behind and couldn't catch up, plus we missed three serves which gives the other team points and the serve - not a good thing to do when you're behind." Valley won 25-16

Game four: "We just couldn't dig out their serves or if we did get a touch on them, we failed to set up our hitters. We looked tired and shocked that we could win two and not keep the same momentum. Valley had two servers that ran five and six point runs with their serves and Valley wins 25- 10," Denny exclaimed.

The teams were now tied at two games apiece and all of the mo(mentum) was on the Vikings side of the net. "Game five - Valley was on a mission and we didn't do much for our cause. Naselle missed four serves (which gives Valley four unearned points and the ball to serve at us), to help Valley. The score stayed close at 8 to 9; then with Valley at 10 points, they ran off five serves, which we did not handle well, and they won game 5, 15 to 8. The 3-2 loss ended our season," said Denny

"I am so proud of these student athletes. If you put together their school time, practice time, game time, not to mention - it was the end of the first quarter putting grades on their minds - so there was also home work time, these athletes put in over 60-hour work weeks.

"Even after getting home at 1:30 in the morning, these volleyball players were at school and at practice. That is what is called commitment, which was one of our goals this year. These girls play for the love of the game and truly gave it everything they had. Every one of them, from the starters to supportive bench players, made the season extremely successful.

"Our season ends with 7-1 for league - (tied for first with Valley and SB) and 13- 5 over all," Denny concluded.

The state tournament representatives, coming out of the district tournament are Morton, South Bend, and Willapa Valley. Those three teams will be playing in the state B tournament in Yakima this week.

While the Comets won't be moving on to state this year, they are returning all of their players except one for next season. The only player who the Comets will lose to graduation is senior Marijane Mobley.

Naselle 25 25 16 10 8 (2)

Valley 23 9 25 25 15 (3)

Comets win/lose to advance in district VB tournamentCENTRALIA - After finishing third in the seeding competition held Monday, the Comets had to come right back and play two matches in Centralia on Wednesday, Nov. 5

The Comets started out as if Wednesday was going to be the best volleyball of the year.

"Game one was probably one of our best games of the year - Naselle 25 - Mossy 15," coach Debbie Denny said. "I wish I could give you more of the scoring sequence but we were the home team, which means the district score book stays at the site - new to me! And along the way Kelli Revis had four hits and three kills, Annie Herrold six hits and one kill, Marijane Mobley five hits and two kills."

In game two, the Comets were playing well, but in one play at the net - Marijane Mobley and Jamie Bighill collided. Denny said, "MJ twisted her ankle. So the team had to adjust and we played tough only to lose 27-29, Revis had six hits and two kills, Herrold eight hits, Toni (Abbott) 7 hits and one kill, Katie (Klinger) four hits

"In game three, we got back on track. Revis had five hits and five kills, Herrold six hits and one kill, Abbott two hits, and Mobley four hits and two kills. Mossy fought hard knowing it was loser out but we won 25 - 23.

"In game four Naselle pretty much got the lead and kept in to win 25 -18. Revis had three hits and two kills, Herrold 12 hits and one kill, Mobley two hits, and Abbott one hit," said Denny

She explained, "Keep in mind that these hitters don't get these hits without some excellent setting - all three setters Amanda (Badger), Katie (Klinger) , and Jamie (Bighill) - did an outstanding job setting the ball up for some great hits. In the last two games alone Katie had 22 assists and Jamie had 20. Kelli also stuffed the ball three times during this match

Mossyrock 15 29 23 18 (1)

Naselle 25 27 25 25 (3)

The Comets got very little rest and went on to play PeEll the same night, beginning at about 8:45. In the marathon first game, PeEll won 31 to 29. "The game was exciting and the scoring was close the entire game. Again, I don't have score sheets because we were the home team," said Denny. "Revis had 11 hits and three kills, Herrold one kill and 7 hits, Mobley 8 hits and one kill and Abbott one hit."

Second Game: Naselle 25 - PeEll 18: "Naselle took the lead and stayed the course," said Denny. "Revis had six hits and one kill, Herrold six hits and one kill, Mobley four hits, Jaimie (Hines) one kill, Jamie (Bighill) and Katie (Klinger) set the hitters up again for an excellent game."

"Game three - Naselle is now starting to hit the wall with fatigue and failed to serve the ball or pass the ball very well and lost - 25 to 8," explained Denny's brief notes.

"Game four -Same thing: Naselle loses 10 to 25," concluded Denny.

Naselle 29 25 8 10 (1)

PeEll 31 18 25 25 (3)

Comets seeded third in playoffs for district VB tournamentRAYMOND - The Naselle Comets came into the seeding playoff matches held in Raymond Monday, Nov. 4, in a three-way for the league championship with South Bend and Willapa Valley.

The Comets emerged from the playoff night with a third place seeding. That seeding meant that the Comet had to work their way through the lower bracket of the district tournament if they hoped to advance to the state tournament.

The Comets played first against Valley - it was a two out of three match, with the first and second game to 25 and third game to 15. Valley beat NHS in two, 25-23, 25-23.

"In the first game was we stayed very tight in scoring," coach Debbie Denny said. "Jamie Bighill and Amanda Badger both set well. Good defense by Toni Abbott and Kelli Revis served for five consecutive serves to pull us ahead 18 to 14. Our next sever missed and Valley's server put them ahead 19 to 18. Then Marijane (Mobley) served the next two points with the help of Annie's (Herrold) front row hitting put to us up 21 -19.

"Valley then ran off three excellent serves and went ahead 23-21. We scored two more points with our team serving to tie the score 23-23. Valley scored point 24 on the rotation and served and hit for the winning points," Denny concluded.

"Game two, Naselle jumped ahead with Toni Abbot serving 7 to 2, but Valley came back to tie us up 9 to 9. Valley went ahead 16 to 10, then 19 to 13, Amanda (Badger) served and set well to put us within one point, 18 to 19. Naselle lost some ground with Valley getting three more points and Naselle gets back two making the score Valley 22 and Naselle 20; then Valley 23 and Naselle 21, Valley 24 -Naselle 23; Valley wins 25 to 23," explained Denny in her game notes.

Herrold had 11 hits, three kills and three stuffs, Revis had 11 hits, two kills, and five stuffs, Mobley six hits and two kills and Toni had 8 hits and one kill.

Naselle 23 23 (0)

Valley 25 25 (2)

South Bend then beat Willapa Valley in two games.

In the third match of the evening, Naselle came out strong with the serving of Toni Abbott and excellent hitting by Marijane Mobley to go up 9 -2 against South Bend.

"After one complete rotation of servers, Naselle led it 17 -11," said Denny. "In the second round of serving, South Bend came within four points, at Naselle 22 and SB 18. Marijane (Mobley) served the last three points and Toni (Abbott) and Annie (Herrold) took care of business at the net, said Denny. Naselle won game one, 25-18.

"Game two , SB came out serving hard and hitting hard and won easily 25 - 8.

"The momentum stayed with SB in game three and they won the game 15 -10. It was close at Naselle 8 and SB 8; then SB ran off three consecutive points. We got two back to make it 10 to 12. But SB won on the next server and front row offense 15 to 1," concluded Denny. The loss placed Naselle third in the Pacific league seeding for the southwest district B tournament.

Revis had 10 hits, one kills, and three stuffs, Herrold 12 hits and one kill, Mobley 7 hits and three kills, and Abbott 8 hits and one kill.

Naselle 25 8 10 (1)

South Bend 18 25 15 (2).

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