By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
In one of their toughest played matches of the year, the Brookings-Harbor High School volleyball team nearly pulled off an upset of the South Umpqua Lancers, but dropped the final two games in a closely contested five-game loss (25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 23-25 and 10-15).
"That was a good game," Coach Lori Cooper said. "The girls played really hard and it was a good way to go out at home."
Tuesday's game was also the final home game for seniors Stephanie Kerr and Vanita Carrillo.
"They both played well tonight," Cooper said. "Vanita stepped up and had a good game despite having a hurt hand. And Stephanie has meant a lot to this program. She's works hard and is someone the younger kids can look up to."
Kerr had her best hitting night in her final home game as a Bruin, blasting the Lancers for a career-high 31 kills.
Carrillo had a good game defensively for the Bruins and continued to motivate her teammates even when on the bench.
In the first game, the Bruins (1-8, 5-10) played very well, keeping the score close for the entire game.
Neither team led by more than four points and a kill by Kerr tied the game at 22-22.
With Kerr at the service line, the Bruins were able to rattle the Lancers, forcing them into errors to take the opening game, 25-22.
The Bruins struggled in game two, never quite finding their rhythm and falling 25-17.
But the Bruins were back at it in game three, pushing the Lancers to another close finish.
Excellent defense kept the Bruins in game three as Breanne Manley, Carrillo, Kerr and Danielle Ambrose all came up with critical saves.
A kill by Kerr put the Bruins up 20-19 and another kill by Kerr and one by Taylor Keys stretched the Bruin lead to 24-21.
The Lancers pulled within a point, but a key save by Manley forced the Lancers into an error and clinched game three in a 25-23 win.
Game four was another fight to the finish between the two teams.
The Bruins led 23-20, but couldn't quite close the deal as the Lancers pulled ahead and took the victory, 25-23.
In the deciding game five, the Bruins led 7-6, but excellent defense helped the Lancers take the lead and finish the night with a 15-10 win.
The Bruins hustled for the majority of the night and played well at the net against a very scrappy Lancer squad.
"I'm pleased with their effort," Cooper said. "They proved to themselves that they could do it."
Along with Kerr's 31 kills, she also had seven blocks, three assists, a save and an ace.
The two setters did a good job giving Kerr hittable balls and Molly Vance ended up with 21 assists on the night while Ambrose had 17 assists. Vance also had four kills.
Dani Olson had a huge night at the net for the Bruins with a career-high 16 blocks to go along with six kills.
Sarah Pate and Keys also added two kills apiece.
In the JV game, the Bruins made quick work of South Umpqua, defeating the Lancers 25-11 and 25-20 in two games.
The final game of the year for the Bruins is on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Sutherlin at 5 and 6:30 p.m.