GORDON —Two wins, two different matches. The Alliance High School volleyball team came home with a pair of wins in a triangular with Gordon-Rushville and Valentine Thursday. Though the Bulldogs bested both in straight sets, Valentine was up first and offered the better challenge.
“We saw Valentine play at our McCook tournament and knew they were a pretty good team,” AHS Head Coach Jessica Kaiser said. “They put up a nice block and are very scrappy on defense. We had a few different girls on the court due to some injuries so I think that played a part in how we competed.”
The Badgers pushed both sets over 25. Alliance took the opener 26-24 and again showed determination to prevail 27-25 in the opening set. Both sets were close and back and forth, she said.
Valentine was tough at the net. “They put up a nice block and we had a hard time adjusting,” she said. “Our communication was lacking also so our defense wasn't really in sync.”
Alliance had to come back in the second set as Valentine reached game point. “In the second set we were down 21-24, I was happy to see the focus and determination the girls showed to finish the match in 2 sets. It took a lot of focus and discipline,” Kaiser said.
The Bulldogs did not give up and found a spark. “I think we served pretty well which is what got us going when we were down in the second set. Our defense started picking up as well,” she said.
Gordon-Rushville, now 13-8, came in with a better record than Valentine (9-11). Alliance controlled both sets, however, easily taking both sets from the Mustangs, 25-17 and 25-12. “Gordon came out ready to play, it was a loud atmosphere so they are fired up,” Kaiser said. “We finally settled down and were figuring out the different line up. I thought the girls did a nice job at the net and played pretty solid defensively. Ryley Rolls stepped up and finished with 17 kills.”
The dynamic at triangular, beyond playing a couple matches on one night, comes from matches being the best two out of three sets instead of best three out of five.
“I think it is a good thing that we will have this weekend off, we need to get the girls some rest and for all of them to get healthy,” Kaiser said. “I know they are really looking forward to the next few weeks and being able to play a lot of this final stretch at home.”
Alliance returns home to host Scottsbluff Tuesday, Oct. 16. Action begins with the freshmen at 5 p.m. A week from today is the Bulldogs’ major tournament. The Pilfold Invite begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.