TRI CITY — Katie Sheely and Morgan Ball celebrated more than senior night Thursday when South Umpqua hosted Siuslaw in the Far West League volleyball finale.

Not only did the Lancers celebrate their two seniors, they picked up a three-set sweep of Siuslaw and secured a tie for the FWL championship with Marshfield.

Set scores were 25-22, 25-20, 25-19.

The Lancers split with Marshfield, each team winning in five sets on its home floor, and the teams will meet in a tiebreaker match at a neutral floor, most likely on Tuesday. S.U. plays in the Marshfield Tournament on Saturday.

S.U. (10-6, 8-2 FWL) lost at Siuslaw in five sets on Sept. 26 in a match dominated by Vikings junior Mak York. In the rematch, the Lancers negated Siuslaw’s big lineup and outscrambled the visitors.

“We lost to Siuslaw the last time we played them, but I believe that we were very intense on and off the court and we had the fire in our team to come out and beat them, and we did,” Sheely said.

Jenna Whitmore had eight kills and seven digs for the Lancers, while Shalyn Gray had eight kills and four digs. Alyssa Rainville added six kills and four blocks, and setter Sydnie Johnson had 28 assists and nine digs for South Umpqua.

“I think we played pretty well, but definitely not to our full potential,” said Ball, S.U.’s libero. “I’m still glad that our team came out with a win.”

And an FWL title in the final season for the 40-year-old league. The FWL is to be disbanded as the OSAA moves into a new cycle of classification and districting. S.U. will drop from the 4A classification and move into a new Class 3A league (purported to be the Umpqua Valley Conference) that will include Douglas and Sutherlin.

South Umpqua has never hung a league championship banner for volleyball — now it can.

Siuslaw (9-9, 5-5), along with Brookings-Harbor the last original FWL member, dropped into fourth place in the league with the loss.

Madison Crawford is a part time sports reporter for The News-Review.

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