By Mathew Brock

Pilot Sports Writer

The Bruins volleyball team hosted the Illinois Valley Cougars yesterday for a non-league game, taking a 3-0 win in their third game of the season. The first set ended at 25-20, the second at a wider 25-14 and the third wrapped things up at a close 25-22.

The Bruins took an early lead in the first set but the Cougars managed to catch up to 23-20. After a short time-out, the Bruins came back and secured a two more points to take the set. The second set remained close at first, with both teams staying close until reaching 13-10, whereas the Bruins proceeded to run away with the set to end at 25-14. The final set remained close throughout, with the Bruins narrowly avoiding overtime by outscoring the Cougars at the very end to hit 25-22.

Mayce McCullom came out to top for the Bruins in assists at 10, while Gracie Harms had six digs and Sierra Fitzhugh ended with the most kills at four.

The Bruins struggled in the first set with several poor serves, but improved greatly in the second and third set. Getting good blocks also proved difficult, with only two throughout the whole match split between Cartyr Fitzhugh and Maggie Steerman.

“I was glad to see the team never stopped fighting and didn’t give up even when the other team managed several serves in a row,” said Bruins coach Lorinda Shew. “We retained our composure and managed to stay in the game and it’s always great to see that get a win.”

Shew plans to work on the team’s blocking skills, as well as working to attack middle more often and effectively they put the ball away.

The Bruins host McKinleyville tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. for a non-league rematch game after losing to them 3-0 last week. The Bruins then head to Arcata to play in the the Arcata Tournament on Saturday with their first game starting at 8 a.m. They’ll then travel to Del Norte on Monday to play the Warriors at 6:30 p.m.

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