Riverhawks rally in 5
Shawn Harrison sports editor
Never give up.
Ridgeline didnât and, at the expense of Logan, rallied for a thrilling five-set volleyball win Thursday night at Grizzly Den. After dropping the first two sets, the Riverhawks rallied for a 18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-9 Region 11 win over the Grizzlies.
âWe just talked about start strong, stay strong,â Ridgeline coach Katie Ormsby said. âThat was out motto the whole entire game. … You couldnât have asked for a better finish. It was beautiful. The team came together. We needed this win pretty bad.â
Heading to the fifth set, the visiting Riverhawks (7-9, 2-2 region) definitely had the momentum. The Logan students, once boisterous, went from standing and cheering to sitting and visiting among themselves. The Grizzlies (3-17, 1-3) on the court seemed to be out of energy as well.
âWe hate those, hate to lose those,â Logan coach Jenn Ioane said. âAll of our region matches have been five sets. Tonight was the same mental toughness thing. I need to figure out how to teach my girls to push through. We are learning. We will be OK.â
Ormsby felt the way her team blocked helped it overcome the start to the match. The block was certainly working in the deciding set.
Hayden Merritt made a block to get Ridgeline on the board. Her teammate Katie Schwab followed with a block. After a couple of hitting errors by the Grizzlies, Schwab had another block as the Riverhawks built a quick 6-1 lead. Schwab would finish with 13 blocks, including nine solo.
âOur blocking game was unbelievable,â Ormsby said. âThat just helped us more and more as it went on.â
An ace by Kenedi Christiansen gave Ridgeline a 10-3 lead.
To Loganâs credit, it fought back with a 4-0 run with Rylee Muir serving. Muir had an ace during the surge.
Then the Grizzlies went back to struggling to keep the ball inside the lines on hits. Ashlee Ahlmer finished off the match with an ace for the Riverhawks.
âThe point before, I was like Iâm serving next and Iâm getting an ace, and thatâs exactly what I did,â said Ahlmer, who led her team with nine kills, four aces and 20 digs.
The match began with both teams going on long runs. Ahlmer capped an 8-0 run with a kill to give the Riverhawks an 11-9 lead in the opening set. Brooke Jacobsen was serving and had two aces.
Then it was Loganâs turn, who went on an 10-0 run. Sharron Wallace also had two aces as she served for the Grizzlies. Sylvia Otrusinik finished off the first set for the hosts with a kill.
âWe got comfortable and a little too complacent,â Ioane said. âWeâll work through it.â
Logan used runs of 5-0 and 6-0 to get some breathing room in the second and never looked back.
Ahlmer had two early aces in the third set, and the Riverhawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Ridgeline never trailed in the third. An ace by Ashlyn Hansen ended the set and gave the visitors new life.
âWe started strong in the third, which was a huge momentum for our team,â Ormsby said. âThey carried that same energy through the rest of the game and match.â
Otrusinik had three quick kills to start the fourth for Logan, while Shaylee Anderson had an ace. The Grizzlies took an early 4-1 lead.
However, the Riverhawks stayed closed and used and 11-2 run, including scoring six unanswered points to take the lead for good in the fourth. Once again Ridgeline had the block working and forced the fifth set.
âWe had all the momentum going for us going to the fifth,â Ormsby said. âOur team came out fired up to take that fifth set.â
Which the Riverhawks did.
âAfter those first two sets we came out with a ton of energy and played to the best of our ability,â Ahlmer said. â… We just wanted it with all of our hearts. We worked together and pulled it out.â
The Grizzlies were led by Otrusinik with 15 kills. Wallace had 11 kills.