Brookings-Harbor High School senior Mallory McDonald stretches for the ball in the first game of a three-game match against the Lancers of South Umpqua. The Bruins lost all three games. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
A three-game (23-25, 21-25, 18-25) loss to the now 2-8 South Umpqua Lancers put the Bruins volleyball squad solidly in last place with a 1-8 record and only three matches remaining in the season.
For the eight seniors on the team the last three games are just as important as the first three were.
"It's just as hard to lose now as it was at the beginning of the season," senior Jordyn Keys said. "I really want to try and pull the team together more and get them pumped for the remaining games."
The first game started slowly for the Bruins but after a volley where a recently returned-from-injury senior, Mallory McDonald blocked two of South Umpqua's shots the momentum shifted in the Bruins favor and it seemed as though they would win the first game of the match.
With the score 24-22 in favor of the Bruins, the referee overturned a line judge's call and swung the momentum in the Lancer's favor and South Umpqua won 25-23.
The Bruins seemed to be unable to recover from the first game loss and lost the second and third games in quick succession.
"Game one was excellent," Head Coach Sam Greenlee said. "I'm extremely proud of them for that. Games two and three, they went back to the old team. Not proud of that."
"I have eight seniors and I remind them that they have three games left to go," she added.
The game marked the return of McDonald who injured her knee earlier in the season.
"The knee is great," McDonald said. "It's just tough to have a loss after coming back."
For Greenlee the return of McDonald was good to see but caused some consternation.
"We had Mallory come back and she was huge for us," she said. "She came off the injury and I think they relied on her to do everything. I think that is way too much pressure to put on one kid. Everybody needed to do their job tonight. One person cannot win the game alone."
The Bruins play tonight in Sutherlin before a final two-match home stand on Tuesday and Thursday.