HARRIS- It was a game of runs for the Superior Central Cougars and they used a pair of decisive ones to knock off Bark River-Harris 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 25-16) on Monday.
After falling behind 19-11 in the first set, Superior Central (9-1) got the ball back and in the hands of Ally Bray. The sophomore setter went on a seven-point service run to tie the game at 19-19.
"We've got some strong servers and she found a girl and she started aiming at her and it just kept us in it," said Cougars head coach Chris Bray. "My girls are the kind of team that once we get tied back up we're ready to go. We do that a lot, we'll fall behind and we'll come back and beat them."
Jon Young | Daily Press
Superior Central’s Teslyn Tyner (5) fires a shot over the net as Emily Johnson (2) of Bark River-Harris gets set on defense, Monday at Harris.
The Broncos (5-8) tied the game at 23-23, but were unable to hold on for the win, sending a serve long before losing on an ace from Superior Central's Brooke Pasanen. Bark River-Harris head coach John Jorasz said he was impressed with his team's fight but close losses hurt.
"It's hard having that lead and then losing it," Jorasz said. It takes a toll on those girls when they're out there, knowing they are making those mistakes and errors that are letting them get back into the game."
In the fourth set another error loomed large for the Broncos. After winning the third set, BR-H appeared to have momentum on its side. The Broncos scored three points in a row to go up 6-4, but turned to the wrong server in the rotation during that run.
Superior Central: Ally Bray, eight kills, four aces, 15 assists,11 digs; Brianna Emard, six kills, two blocks; Rebecca Wells, one ace, seven digs; Emilee Lintula, one kill, two aces, six digs; Teslyn Tyner, four kills, seven digs, eight aces; Vanessa Freberg, 10 kills, two aces, two blocks, eight digs; Brooke Pasanen, five kills, six aces, 12 assists, seven digs.
Bark River-Harris: Kortney Jenshak, three kills, one ace, one assist; Rachel Gregory, three kills; Mallory Petersen, two kills, three aces, two blocks, two assists; Haley Clement, one kill, four aces; Cassidy Getzloff, one ace, one block; Emily Johnson, one ace, five assists; Savanna Stenberg, one assist.
After the mistake was fixed it tied the score at 4-4 and gave possession back to Superior Central.
"It definitely doesn't keep your spirits up when something like that happens, knowing that it should have been played out differently," Jorasz said.
The Cougars capitalized on the mistake, as Pasanen ripped off a five-point service run, which two plays later was followed by fellow senior Teslyn Tyner's seven-point run, giving Superior Central a 17-6 lead.
"This team plays really loose and when they do play loose they can do things like that because they're such good athletes," Bray said. "I think their experience just paid off. They just plug away and get one point back at a time and keep pushing the points and the further ahead we get from a team the more relaxed we play and the better we play and I think that helped with that last set."
Bark River-Harris forced a fourth set, after winning the third game 25-18. The Broncos bolted out of the gate to a 6-0 lead behind the service run of Mallory Petersen. BR-H held onto the lead the entire third set as senior Kortney Jenshak ended it with a kill. Jorasz said the Cougars have the best talent in the conference and he was impressed with his team's effort against them.
"Performance wise, I believe in the conference, they're the best team out there," he said. "Knowing that going into tonight we were still were pushing ourselves. We're almost three quarters of the way through the season and the girls are realizing if you don't push yourselves now, what are you waiting for. They showed up tonight and I was happy with their performance."
In jayvee play, the Broncos edged the Cougars 2-0, (25-10, 25-15). Bark River-Harris is back in action on Thursday as they travel to North Central. Superior Central plays host to Rapid River and Carney-Nadeau tonight.