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On the heels of three straight losses, the Gold Beach volleyball team managed to end its season on a high note after trumping Toledo in straight sets (25-15, 28-26, 25-16) at home Thursday night.
It wasn’t exactly the cleanest game as both teams were consistently plagued by unforced errors, but each made up for it through other aspects of their games. For the Boomers, it was with their blocking as they repeatedly stuffed Gold Beach’s middle attackers on the night. For the Panthers, it was through their strong serving as they tallied up 15 total aces.
With the win, the Panthers improve to an overall record of 4-10 and 4-6 in Sunset Conference play. The Boomers drop to 7-11 overall, 4-6 in league.
In the first set, Gold Beach had to rally from a slow 2-5 start in the first set after committing four straight attack errors. However, the Panthers stabilized soon after and went on a 12-3 run to take a 14-8 lead. Gold Beach extended their lead to 22-12 behind the strong serving of senior libero Bella Laurino before clinching the set on a three-point run.
Much like the first set, the Panthers fell behind early, trailing 7-2 before cutting the deficit to 12-10 off a service ace by senior Kayleanna Ridens. Two service aces by Laurino put the Panthers within one at 14-15, and kills by junior Kaitlyn Porovich and junior Alyssa McClean gave them the lead. Gold Beach was in the driver’s seat with a 20-18 advantage, but faltered with four straight errors to give Toledo a 22-18 lead. The Boomers held match-point at 24-23, but an untimely service error reset the score. A service ace by senior Billee Hiat gave the Panthers their chance to take the set, but they would be denied off a kill sophomore middle blocker Kaycie Otis. Toledo earned their third match-point at 26-25 after a kill by senior middle blocker Taylor McAlpine, but collapsed with three unforced attack errors to hand Gold Beach the set.
Once again, Toledo led early in the third at 4-1 but the Panthers retook the lead with four straight points. Both teams took turns siding out with the Panthers leading by no more than two points throughout. At the 12-11 mark, the Panthers used two blocks and a service ace to give themselves a 15-11 lead. Toledo closed the deficit to two at 17-15, but the Panthers would close out the set on a 8-1 run.