A 3-1 victory over Seaside secures the Tribe's second consecutive playoff berth.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Senior Brittany Catlow sets the ball during the Indians' 3-1 victory over Seaside. With the win, Scappoose secured a  playoff berth, but their first round opponent is yet to be determined.For the Lady Indians, things aren't always done the easy way. Scappoose (8-9, 4-4 Cowapa) won the first two sets in their crucial match against visiting Seaside (3-13, 0-8 Cowapa) on Tuesday night. They had a solid lead in the third, but let the straight set victory slip away before roaring back in the fourth to win 25-14, 25-21, 26-28, 25-19, securing their second consecutive postseason berth.

This year marks the first time in recent memory that the volleyball program has seen the playoffs for two years in a row, let alone making the tournament to begin with. Tribe head coach Mark Sprenger hopes to change the culture surrounding Scappoose volleyball into something people expect to see in the post season from year to year.

“(It's important,) having the girls believe they can do that from the get-go,” said Sprenger. “I think that, in years past, wasn't always the case. We had some good teams that just didn't believe they could win.”

Sprenger says the will and the ability to win games is now instilled in the girls, and they will take on whomever the playoffs throw at them in the first round. The opponent, though, is still up in the air.

Depending on how the rest of the Cowapa league shakes out, there may be a tie between the fourth and fifth place teams, Tillamook and Yamhill-Carlton. Should a tie be the case, Scappoose would have a bi-week in place of the first-round playoff game at home.

“I'd much rather have that 3-4 game because I think it's another game that we have at home, and I think we could probably beat either (Tillamook or Yamhill-Carlton),” said Sprenger. According to him, the extra home game is both a big boost and a good way to keep sharp for when the next round begins on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Winning the match and clinching the third spot in the Cowapa league wasn't exactly a walk in the park. The first set with Seaside went smoothly, with the Tribe taking the game 25-14. In the second, Scappoose jumped out in front by a few points, and held on for the 25-21 win, but something went terribly wrong in the third set.

The visitors finally found their stride, quickly leading the Indians 5-1 and building confidence. Scappoose went on a run to take a lead at 10-8, but the damage had been done. Frustrated, the Tribe started to slip. Seaside tied the set at 19, and then just when it looked like the Indians might finish things, tied it once again at 24 before jumping ahead and taking the set 28-26.

“We've got to start better than 5-1,” said Sprenger, who was hard on the team during the break between the third and fourth sets. “I didn't change much between games three and four, I just said we've got to start better.”

Sprenger's speech worked. The Indians came into the fourth set a different squad, taking the first ten points, igniting the student section into a frenzy, and never looking back. Alyssa Spang sent the ball over the net for the kill, and the Indians celebrated at center court, a playoff berth in hand.

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