By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
In a game full of comebacks, the Brookings-Harbor High School volleyball team fell victim to one in the fifth and final game in a closely contested loss against the Del Norte Warriors (25-23, 24-26, 25-22, 22-25, 12-15).
"They're disappointed they lost, but a lot of good things happened out there," Coach Lori Cooper said. "Those were good, hard-fought games."
In each of the five games, each team held a lead at some point and neither team ever led by more than six points.
"I was pleased, they're starting to come together as a team," Cooper said. "We had our moments and we scrambled really well at times."
The Bruins trailed for the majority of game one, but kept the Warriors in their sights.
With the score tied at 23-23, senior Stephanie Kerr gave the Bruins their first lead of the game with a big kill.
Junior Breanne Manley served for match point and the Warriors ended up hitting it into the net, giving the Bruins the opening game, 25-23.
The Bruins came out running on all cylinders in game two and jumped out to a 6-1 lead behind four kills by Kerr.
But the Warriors put on the pressure and forced the Bruins into multiple errors and gradually built up their lead to 24-18.
After a Warrior net violation, junior Dani Olson stepped up and served five straight points, aided by an ace and a kill by Kerr.
The Bruins were able to tie the game at 24-24, but back-to-back Warrior kills ended the Bruins comeback.
Game three was another back and forth contest and the Bruins and Warriors found themselves knotted at 18-18.
A kill by Olson followed by an Olson ace and a Warrior error put the Bruins up 21-18 as they were able to hold off the Warriors as Kerr spiked the ball for the final point and the 25-22 win in game three.
Except for an early 4-2 lead the Bruins trailed for the majority of game four.
Several times they were able to pull within two points, but they could never get any closer.
Manley gave the Bruins an opportunity for the comeback as she made an amazing save that Kerr was able to kill from the back row to pull the Bruins to 22-24.
But a Warrior kill ended the game and sent the match into a decisive game five.
The Bruins came out fired up and jumped out to a 5-1 lead, with Kerr blasting home three kills.
But with a 10-5 lead, the Bruins couldn't hold the Warriors as they served nine straight points to put them up 14-10, eventually winning game five 15-12.
Kerr led the Bruins with 22 kills on the night along with three blocks and four saves and an ace.
Taylor Keys had five kills and three blocks on the night while Olson and Sophomore Sarah Pate had four kills apiece.
Junior Molly Vance led the Bruins with 29 assists.
In the back row, Manley led the Bruins with four saves and consistently made digs and passes up to the Bruin setters and hitters.
The Warriors were led by Ashley Owen with 18 kills.
In the JV match, the Bruins swept the Warriors in two games, 25-18 and 25-19.
Standout performers included Shawna Cooper, K'la Kennedy, Danielle Ambrose, Savannah Beckley and Brianna and Felicia Gutierrez.
The next game for the Bruins is tonight (Sept. 5) against Illinois Valley at home. JV game starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by varsity at 7 p.m.