Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

It was a struggle at times, but Baker managed to outdo Astoria in their Class 4A state volleyball playoff opener Saturday at BHS.

Baker played from behind in every game before edging the Fishermen 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22 to advance to the 4A tournament Friday and Saturday at Forest Grove High School.

“Astoria is a good team,” said Baker coach Warren Wilson. “And we had some communication errors at times.”

Baker fell behind 6-1 in the first game before rallying behind the net play of Kaeli Flanagan, Kaylee Burk and Paige Pearce to tie the game at 7-7.

Astoria then took a 14-8 lead only to have Baker battle back to tie the game at 15-15 on a Burk kill.

The teams played through two more ties before Astoria took a 21-19 edge.

Again Baker came back.

Flanagan served an ace, and Carson Lien added a scoring hit as Baker took a 23-21 lead.

The teams then tied at 24 and 25 before Baker took the lead for good when an Astoria serve attempt went into the net.

Abby Baker gave Baker the first-game win with an ace serve.

The same pattern continued in the second game, only this time Baker couldn’t get all the way back.

The closest Baker could get was 24-21.

In Game 3, Baker fell behind by as many as five points before knotting the score at 16-16 with Jayme Ramos serving.

Baker edged ahead 20-19 before Averi Elms served three points for a 23-19 Baker advantage.

Ramos then added a kill and another scoring hit to give Baker a 2-1 set edge.

In the fourth game the teams battled back and forth to a 7-7 tie before Flanagan gave Baker the lead for good at 9-7.

Baker steadily pulled away, building a 23-15 lead.

Astoria then made one last charge, cutting the deficit to 23-21 before Baker completed the win.

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs (18-8) play second-ranked Valley Catholic (22-3) Friday at 10 a.m. in the first round of tournament action.