NORTH LOGAN — There was no giving up by the Riverhawks, and it paid off.
Down two sets and trailing by five late in the third, it was not looking good for the Ridgeline volleyball team. After a pair of timeouts, the visiting Riverhawks started their comeback against Green Canyon in another thrilling Region 11 contest.
“We really worked as a team, and just took it one ball at a time,” Ridgeline libero Livvy Davies said. “We all knew if we did our individual jobs, our system would work out. ... We focused on earning our points. Good things happen when you earn your points.”
The Riverhawks did just that and used a 5-0 run to tie up the third set at 19-19. After falling behind again, Ridgeline then finished off the third with a 6-2 surge. Davies served up an ace, followed by a block by Brinlie Crosbie and Sydney Donavan to send the match to a fourth set. The Riverhawks went on to win in five, 20-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-11.
“We really just focused on one ball at a time,” Ridgeline head coach Jaicee Roden said. “If we can have that urgency one ball at a time, we feel we are going to be in a good position to earn one point at a time.”
It also should be noted that Green Canyon (7-10 overall, 2-3 region) had a starter go down with an injury in the third. Middle blocker Abigail Blau had played a big part in the first two sets, but did not return.
“We had to throw some people in places they don’t normally play, so that was a hard adjustment,” Wolves head coach Madison Larsen said. “I was proud of the girls who stepped in and did their best in a position they haven’t played before. Middle is a hard position to step into, so I was proud of them. For sure, that was a heartbreaker.”
Blau served up five aces before getting hurt.
“She has been serving really well,” Larsen said. “I don’t know how serious the injury is. I’m hoping she will be back. ... This year has just been unorthodox all the way around. You never know what you are going to get.”
Ridgeline (10-8, 4-2) cut down on mistakes and pulled together as they had less errors as the match wore on.
With players having to fill in for the absence of Blau, Green Canyon saw its miscues rise dramatically. Bad serves and hitting errors gave the Riverhawks a combined 26 points over the third and fourth sets.
“Volleyball is a game of situations and a game of errors and who can manage both better,” Roden said. “Green Canyon is a great squad. We knew we needed to come ready to play and minimizing errors was going to be important for us.”
It came down to the fifth set. There were six ties and five lead changes in the early going. Knotted at 9-9, the Riverhawks went in front for good off a kill from Crosbie. Four errors by the Wolves and a block by Crosbie and Donavan brought the match to a close.
Ridgeline had 77 digs as a team with Davies leading the way with 26. Crosbie had 19.
“You just have to go for the ball,” Davies said of getting digs. “Practice pays off.”
Gracee Putnam led the Riverhawks with 10 kills, while Crosbie had nine finishers. Mira Smullin had nine blocks.
The Wolves were led by Olivia Chadwick with 22 kills and 21 digs. Kaylee Coats had 12 kills, 12 digs and five aces. Adison Falslev had 11 kills, three aces and nine digs. Sarah Blau had 44 assists and 16 digs. Alivia Longhurst added four aces and 26 digs.
Green Canyon got off to a great start, rolling to a 6-0 lead in the opening set. Abigail Blau served up three of her aces during that span. The Wolves never looked back and had eight of their 19 aces in the first set.
The second set was a bit tighter in the early going as there were 12 ties and four lead changes. A 6-0 run by Green Canyon gave the hosts some breathing room. Chadwick had four kills during that surge. Two kills by Falslev finished off the second.
“It’s a heartbreaker because we came out super strong in those first two sets,” Larsen said. “Even in the third we were rolling. ... I was proud of our fight. We just weren’t consistent.”
Despite being down, Ridgeline rallied in the third and fourth. The Riverhawks scored the final six points of the fourth set to force a fifth. Crosbie got the final kill.
BEARS 3, MUSTANGS 1
Mountain Crest was still missing three starters, and it showed at Garland. Bear River (7-8, 3-3) picked up the win in four, 25-14, 22-25, 25-11, 25-20.
“We had a hard time adjusting to players missing tonight and really playing together as a team,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “We had moments of greatness and it was fun to see some girls do some really great things. Olivia Gale had a great night and played some amazing defense. Gracie Mangum got some time in setting and brought a lot of energy to the court when we really needed it. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t piece things together more consistently for a win.”
Ella Douglass led the Mustangs (17-7, 3-3) with seven kills and four blocks. A trio of Mountain Crest players had 11 digs in Bryn Hansen, Gracie Garlock and Gale. Madalyn Constantineau served up four aces.
FRANKLIN COUNTY MATCHES
Preston split a tri-match on the road Wednesday night, losing to host Thunder Ridge (25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19) and beating Skyline (25-19, 25-23, 14-25, 25-23).
West Side won at Malad on Wednesday (29-27, 25-18, 18-25, 25-17) and lost at home to Bear Lake on Thursday (25-15, 26-24, 25-23).
The Indians were led by Khloe Hobson with a combined 26 kills in the two matches. Hailey Winward had 15 kills in the win over Skyline. Selyce Burnett had a combined 15 blocks. Hannah Stephenson finished with 66 assists in the two matches, while Matti Whitehead came up with a total of 48 digs and five aces. Dru Depain had 22 digs in the Skyline match.
In the Pirates win against the Dragons, Abby Fuller had six aces. Kajsia Fuller led the team in kills with 15, while Jesse Mariscal had 10. In the loss to the Bears, Mariscal led the way with nine kills as Abby Fuller had eight. Madalyn Barzee had 30 digs.