SANDPOINT — What a match.
After dropping the first two sets, Sandpoint volleyball battled to force a decisive fifth set against Lewiston on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs (5-8) comeback attempt would fall just short as they lost 23-25, 20-25, 25-22, 30-28, 10-15.
“I think tonight could have gone either way,” Sandpoint head coach Karen Alsager said. “I mean its disappointing that it didn’t go our way but we kind of fell a little flat in that game five, we can’t do that. But I’m not disappointed because I feel like I saw Sandpoint volleyball tonight.”
The first two sets went back and forth but the Bengals were able to prevail in both. With their backs against the wall, the Bulldogs responded.
After falling down 14-11 in the third game, senior Jenny Slaveck and junior Gabby Hicks combined for five kills to help lead the Bulldogs to a set victory.
Sandpoint carried that momentum into the fourth set and jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage. The Bulldogs would continue to hold onto the lead and received a boost from junior middle blocker Bella Phillips when she scorched the ball over the net for a kill.
“The highlight of my night was when Bella just hit that ball hard,” Alsager said. “She does that sometimes in practices but we haven’t had it yet in a game so that was a spark definitely for us.”
The Bulldogs grabbed a 24-18 advantage and the set seemed all but over with Sandpoint only needing one more point to claim the set. However, the Bengals had a different plan in mind and fought of six straight set points to grab a 25-24 lead.
The teams then traded the lead back and forth until finally Sandpoint prevailed 30-28.
It all came down to the fifth set and the Bulldogs looked primed to complete the comeback but Lewiston jumped out to an 8-2 lead en route to a five-set match victory.
Slaveck and Hicks each had 11 kills in the match and senior outside hitter Katie Korn led the team with three aces. Junior CeCe Deprez was all over the place with 12 set assists and a team high 17 digs. Hicks also had 17 digs and junior Katie Stewart added 14.
Phillips was a force up front with five blocks in the match.
Alsager said there was a lot the team can build off of despite the loss and was proud of their resiliency.
“Its just disappointing that it took us to get down two games before we started playing,” she said.
Sandpoint will play at Coeur d’Alene 7 p.m. Tuesday.