Ever since I started working here in late 2002 the Naselle High volleyball team has been at or near the top of the Pacific League standings every year, usually fighting it out with their north county rival South Bend for the league title each year. So when I got the schedule in late August and saw this match-up I circled it on the calendar.
Now, things have not gone as planned for the Comets this year. Going into the game they were 4-4 in the league and 6-5 overall. Their string of three straight league titles had come to an end. Despite the less dramatic implications of the game, I still wanted to go, as South Bend has the only gym in the county, that I know of, that has a balcony that overlooks the court, which can make for some interesting pictures. Each year I try to make it up there for at least one game to take advantage of this ... um .... vantage.
It didn't take long for South Bend to sweep the Comets 3-0 in the match. Sylvia Herrold, above, must have known as the game ended and South Bend celebrated that her teams' playoff future is now possibly in jeopardy. This was a picture I saw coming as the third game wound down. Normally when they score a point, Herrold turns around in glee, her hand in the air. But as the points were slipping away from the Comets I saw the potential scene developing with the other team getting more excited. She was pretty bummed out after the loss, which was to be expected. I tell you what though, I'm sure not used to shooting these guys not celebrating a league title this time of year.
So, back to the game. When Naselle was on the side of the court facing the balcony I tried to get up as high as I could to get a nice shot at the net. I haven't really gotten any this year as Naselle's fieldhouse-style gym doesn't have bleachers that go up very high. What I found last night was that Herrold, the tallest girl on the team, ended up with the top white line of the net going across her face in each shot at the net. So I started watching sophomore Emily Green as she went up to block. A little shorter than Herrold, her face could be easily seen on each attempt and I just had to wait for the right moments.
I started noticing this year that I was getting a lot of pix of Herrold at most games, so much so that I had to start consciously looking for other players making plays. It's probably just me not looking at the bigger picture of the game perhaps, but she just always seems to find herself around the ball, so it's pretty easy to track the action to her. Here she makes a save at teh back of the court.
This one is probably my favorite from the night, as it gives you a good feel of the game due to the high vantage. Here she's calling out a ball that she thought was out. Typical of how things went for them last night, the ball was fair.As it has yet to be announced who is and who isn't making the playoffs this year this may have been my last Comets vball match of the year. I hope not, as they are always one of the more intersting teams to cover, as they have no problem showing emotion while playing, which is cool to see.