By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
On consecutive nights, the Brookings-Harbor High School volleyball team defeated the Gold Beach Panthers and the Illinois Valley Cougars to improve to 2-1 on the year.
The Bruins downed the Panthers in four games (14-25, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-13) Thursday night after sweeping the Cougars in three (25-4, 25-11 and 25-9) on the previous evening.
In game one against the Panthers, the Bruins looked sluggish and showed signs of fatigue from playing in their third straight match in three nights.
The Bruins fell into an early 2-10 hole, but service errors and a lack of communication among the team kept the Bruins from mounting a comeback as they dropped game one 14-25.
andquot;I got on 'em,andquot; Coach Lori Cooper said about her inbetween game talk to the team. andquot;I told them, 'I know you're getting tired, but you better suck it up and play hard.'andquot;
And the Bruins responded.
Game two was an entirely different story as a re-energized Bruin squad peppered the Panthers in the opening moments of the game.
The Bruins rolled to an early 17-4 lead behind the serving of Breanne Manley and Stephanie Kerr.
The Panthers mounted a comeback and pulled within seven points, but a service error ended the game and evened the score at one game apiece.
Game three saw the Bruins get out to another early lead, but once again, the Panthers clawed their way back to trail only 12-10.
A kill by Dani Olson turned the tide and helped the Bruins increase their lead on their way to a game three victory.
After a slow start in game four, Kerr broke the 5-5 tie with a kill and then Moriah Foster served the Bruins to six straight points including one of her three aces on the night.
The Bruins continued to increase their lead throughout the game, aided by a five point run from Vanita Carrillo and a block and kill from Kerr on their way to a 25-13 win.
andquot;It wasn't one of our better games, but we played hard,andquot; Cooper said. andquot;We just need to keep improving with each game.andquot;
Kerr led the Bruins with 11 kills on the night and two blocks, followed by Olson with five kills while Foster and Keys had two apiece.
Molly Vance handed out 11 assists on the night while Foster had four of her own.
On the previous evening, the Bruins handily defeated the Cougars in their first home game of the year with scores of 25-4, 25-11 and 25-9.
After Kerr started off the game with a kill, Vance stepped up to the service line and served 14 straight points with one ace, to give the Bruins a 15-0 lead before the Cougars could even get on the board.
A block and a pair of kills by Olson helped the Bruins continually build their lead against the Cougars.
In game two, the Bruins found themselves down 8-9 before they could regain their momentum as Foster once again served her way to nine straight points and a 17-9 lead.
One Cougar point later, it was Keys' turn to show off her serving skills and she served six straight points with two aces to give the Bruins a 23-10 advantage, as they would eventually win game two 25-11.
The Bruins once again started out fairly lack-luster in game three and trailed 7-9.
But then Breanne Manley stepped up to serve for the Bruins and never looked back.
Manley served eighteen straight points along with a team high three aces to finish game three 25-9.
Olson led all Bruins with 10 kills, followed by Kerr with eight while Keys and Sarah Pate each had a pair of kills.
Vance led the Bruins with 14 assists and two saves while freshman Danielle Ambrose had four assists, all in the final game.
The next match for the Bruins will be a home contest on Monday, Sept. 10 against Bandon at 7 p.m.
JV improves to 3-0
The JV Bruin squad improved to 3-0 as they also defeated the Panthers and Cougars in back-to-back nights.
The Bruins faced their toughest competition yet, but still overcame the Panthers in a three game win Thursday night with scores of 25-19, 18-25 and 15-10.
andquot;They're really doing an excellent job,andquot; Coach Pat Berkowitz said. andquot;They move pretty well together as a team and most of the time, our serves are effective.andquot;
In the opening game, the Bruins trailed for the first half of the game, but with Ambrose serving, the Bruins were able to rally for five straight points and a 19-14 lead with the help of a pair of kills from Sarah Pate and another from Shawna Cooper.
The Bruins struggled to find their groove in game two, but rallied in game three to secure the win and remain undefeated on the year.
Other notable Bruins were Zoey Silver, K'la Kennedy, Savannah Beckley and Felicia and Brianna Gutierrez.
On Wednesday night, the Bruins swept the Cougars in two games with scores of 25-11 and 25-12.
The Bruins jumped out to an early 7-0 lead behind the serving of Beckley with kills from B. Gutierrez and Ambrose.
The Bruins continued their onslaught throughout the game behind multiple kills from Kennedy and Pate with additional kills from Silver, Cooper and Ambrose.
Beckley finished the game where she started, with five more service points to give the Bruins the 25-11 win.
In game two, the Bruins gradually worked their way to a sizeable margin, with good serving spurts from Ambrose, Megan Ziemer and Silver.
Silver and Kennedy also helped the Bruins with kills in game two as the Bruins completed the sweep with a 25-12 win.
The next game for the Bruins is a home game against Bandon on Monday, Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m.