In a heartbreaking finale to a season that led to a league championship for the Estacada volleyball team, the Rangers lost to Astoria Saturday in a playoff match at home.

The Rangers started out confident in the first two games and were ahead 8-2 in the third game when all of a sudden Astoria started to take the wind from their sail.

“In the fourth game, Astoria just really had a look in their eye like they could win this,” said Shawna Lippert, head volleyball coach. “Astoria had a couple servers who put us off-kilter and we never could regain our composure. We stopped playing and lost our desire to fight for it.”

On a more positive note, setter Katie Nation served 20 times with three aces and one service error, playing what Lippert called her best defense of the season with 13 digs.

“She didn’t get rattled — she had a lot of tight sets and had a great match,” Lippert said.

Another key player was hitter Tori Johnson, who Lippert said had four aces and was on fire as a hitter throughout the whole match with 11 kills.

Defensive player Mackenzie Gipple had eight digs, most of which came at the end of the match when the Rangers were really struggling.

“She was going for it with no fear,” Lippert said.

Rachel Lowe had 11 kills, seven blocks and four block assists.

“They saw a weakness in our body language, and that’s all they needed,” Lippert said of Astoria. “We were beat by a good team. We had great moments of the match but our moments weren't long enough.”

Lippert said the Rangers played at a high level all year, but lost their will and confidence to win.

The final score was 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 13-25, 10-15. The Rangers concluded their season 9-1 in league and 15-6 overall.

“It was a really hard loss, but we had great fans this year and want to say thanks for their support,” Lippert said. “The coaching staff has been great and I appreciate everyone who helped to get us this far.”

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