Scottsbluff holds off Gering rally to win 5-set match
     2013-09-23      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo Gering sophomore Allie Boggs (No. 3) executes a kill against Scottsbluff senior Amy Colburn (No. 8) at Tuesday’s rivalry bout at Gering. The Bulldogs were tough but it wasn’t enough and the Bearcats forced the win in five sets. 
Up 2 games and by 7 points, Bearcats let Bulldogs tie match before SHS prevails in final set

Momentum.

Any volleyball coach will say the key to its team winning a match is maintaining “Big Mo.” The same could be said for losing a match when momentum slips away.

In what is always a heated battle on the volleyball court, Scottsbluff had all the momentum in its favor Tuesday night against Gering, taking the first two games 25-18, 25-23, and leading the third set twice by seven points.

Down 12-5, however, the host Bulldogs turned the tide, won the third game 25-23 and then maintained an early Game 4 lead to win 25-17 and force a fifth and deciding set that had both student sections rocking the Gering High School gymnasium.

Then the Bearcats, after falling behind 4-1, took the lead for good at 7-6 and raced to the finish line with a 15-10 set victory and 3-2 match count.

With both teams entering the match with just three wins apiece, Scottsbluff (4-6) had the best of Gering (3-7) early after breaking a 13-all tie in Game 1 with six unanswered points and finishing strong to win 25-18.

The Bulldogs started finding their groove in the second set and had a brief lead at 21-20 before the Bearcats won three of the last four points to win 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Scottsbluff again had the best of Gering in starting Game 3, scoring five straight points to lead 11-4 and maintain its margin at 12-5 before the Bulldogs reeled off five unanswered points and eight out of nine to forge a 13-all deadlock.
Game on.

After Gering took a 15-14 lead, the teams traded points until the Bulldogs broke a 20-all tie by finishing with a 5-3 run in clawing their way back into the match with the 25-23 Game 3 win.

“This is something we have talked about, and I know we have struggled with it at times, and that is finishing a game,” first-year Scottsbluff coach Kenna Hubbard said. “We came out and won those first two and kind of gained the momentum, and then we lost a tough set.

“Gering played a great third set, so that’s not taking anything from them.”

Gering interim coach Stevie Gable said the Bulldogs’ grit in overcoming that third-set deficit was the key in their eventually forging the match deadlock at two game wins apiece.

“We just came out flat, we couldn’t get into our system, we were just kind of off in the first two games,” said Gable, who is 1-2 since taking over as head coach for the suspended Craig Schadwinkel.

“In the third, I think they just decided they were going to take control. It was do-or-die time, and they decided to fight back, which was good to see.”

Gering built a 9-4 lead in Set 4, led by as many as nine at 22-13 and knotted the match with a 25-17 apiece.

“They just came together as a team at that point,” Gable said. “They had lost some intensity, and they just came back together. Intensity built and they did a much better job.”

“More disappointing was our fourth set,” Hubbard said. “I felt like we came out with very little intensity and that showed in our play.”
The teams were not only knotted at two sets apiece but were separated in points by just one, with Gering holding a 91-90 edge heading into the final game.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 4-1 lead in the fifth set before Scottsbluff responded with a 5-2 flurry to forge ahead 7-6.

The Bearcats then maintained the upper hand and finished the match by scoring five of the last seven points — the finale on a kill by senior Makayla Castro, who led Scottsbluff in kills with 16 and had 18 digs and two ace serves.

“We have some passionate girls and one thing we have talked about is coming back with some fight, finding that fight and not finishing until it’s over, and they did that,” Hubbard said. “They worked together, they communicated well and they really got the job done.”
Junior Kyra Willats and sophomore Chesney Walker also had double-doubles for the Bearcats, with Willats making 20 digs and 17 service aces along with eight kills and five ace blocks. Walker finished with 22 aces, 10 digs, eight blocks and one ace block.

Senior libero Savannah Menghini matched Willats’ 20 digs and senior Amy Colburn followed with 13 digs along with two kills. Senior SteaVen Becker and Aly Camacho had seven kills apiece, with Becker adding three ace bocks and Camacho also making seven digs and two ace blocks.

For Gering, junior Kaylee Spreier and senior Savannah Walker had 14 kills apiece, while Spreier also had 10 blocks, three digs and one ace serve and Walker added 15 digs, five assists and two blocks.
Senior Kelsea Prieels and sophomore Allie Boggs each had 20 assists and three ace serves. Boggs also had eight blocks and two digs, and Prieels added three digs.

Senior Katie O’Boyle also had 10 blocks and three ace serves, and junior Leah Newman also scored three aces to go with four blocks, three digs and one kill. Junior Kaila Borgman had eight blocks, four kills and three digs.

Sophomore Jade Riedel had 27 digs and senior Aubrey Gonzales made 10 digs.

“We just had a little trouble getting over the hump,” Gable said. “That’s something we’re going to work on. I think we did a great job this match, really fighting back. We just need to work on getting over that hump now. We’re going to get there by the end of the season. We’ll be fine.”

Gering returns to action Thursday when the Bulldogs travel to Gordon to face Gordon-Rushville and Chadron in a triangular that begins at 4 p.m. Gering then returns home Saturday to take on Ogallala at noon before the Bulldogs host a Sept. 26 triangular against Kimball and Sidney.

Scottsbluff will be off until Sept. 26, when the Bearcats play host to a triangular that includes Bridgeport and Chadron.

With Gering and Scottsbluff headed toward their Twin Cities showdown Tuesday night, the Bulldogs had a split in their annual Bulldog Triangular on Saturday, losing to North Platte 25-21, 25-13 and downing host Alliance 25-21, 28-26.

Gering also played at Chadron on Thursday and had a 2-1 set lead over the Cardinals before Chadron rallied for a 19-25, 25-16, 13-25, 25-22, 15-8 victory.

For Gering against Chadron, Spreier had 15 kills and four blocks, O’Boyle made eight kills and seven blocks, Walker had six kills and eight digs, and senior Brooke Vowers made three kills with 16 digs.

Boggs made 21 assists with five digs, while Prieels added 13 assists, six digs and made two aces. Riedel had 25 digs.

Scottsbluff earned a split of its first two games Thursday night at home against Cheyenne Central before the visiting Indians took the match, 25-20, 15-25, 25-17, 25-19.

Castro led the Bearcats with 11 kills, 17 digs and seven service points. Walker had 12 points, 13 set assists, six kills and five digs. Camacho had eight kills and six ace blocks, while Colburn had seven kills and 10 digs.

Also, Becker had six kills, five ace blocks and four digs, while Willats had 18 set assists and five digs, and Menghini made 18 digs.


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