NASELLE — Firm Foundation beat Naselle 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 15-6 Thursday, Oct. 18, in Naselle, splitting the season series with Naselle and moving into a tie with the Comets for first place in the Columbia Valley League. Naselle fell to 11-1 overall and 5-1 in league play with the loss to the Eagles (12-1, 5-1).
The Comets had blown out the Eagles in Battle Ground earlier on Oct. 2. “They were like a whole new team,” Coach Rebekah Wirkkala said.
“Their defense was great; nothing we hit would hit the floor.”
Wirkkala said Comet hitters had some close misses as they tried to pinpoint their spots. The team finished with 48 hitting errors. Holly Disch had the best hitting day, with 22 kills to just 12 errors on 57 attempts.
For the Eagles, Katie Kogler dominated with 15 kills and one error on 27 attempts.
“Katie came to life,” Wirkkala said. “We double- and triple-blocked her, and the plan was to do that again.”
But the Comets didn’t control the game in the same way this time. “Our passing struggled. Even on free balls, sometimes we would send a free ball back over,” Wirkkala said.
Trailing two sets to one, Naselle stayed alive by winning the fourth set. “(Freshman) Peyton Dalton came in and she was a real spark plug. She came in in the back row and made good passes,” Wirkkala said. “Jackie Steenerson started staying deep. They were sending some hits deep to the line, and she played further back and read them well.” Sophie Scrabeck had many of her 12 kills during that fourth set, getting on a roll placing her tip shots.
But the Eagles handily won the tie-breaking fifth set.
Wirkkala acknowledged that the Comets missed injured libero Lily Harman. “With her defense, I think we win that game,” Wirkkala said. Harman has been out since mid-September with a knee injury, which last week was diagnosed as an ACL tear, meaning she is done for the season.
“It’s something we’ll have to adjust to, but at least we’ve had time to adjust,” Wirkkala said.
Naselle hosts Three Rivers Christian Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m..