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Sutter squeezes by River Valley in five sets
One school is steeped in volleyball tradition while the other is in the process of building a program to be reckoned with.
But when River Valley welcomed in Sutter High for its annual nonleague match on Wednesday night, it was hard to tell exactly which school was which.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the fourth set, the Huskies rode the powerful serving of Angela DeHaan and the strong net play of Katie Olson to rally back for a thrilling 22-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-11, 15-12 victory over the Falcons.
It was anyone's match late, but it was the Huskies who made the big points when they needed to down the stretch.
"It seemed like the team that served first got on top and sort of stayed there," said Sutter coach Ann Reynolds, whose team served first in the pivotal final set. "My team played tough. Even when we got behind, we never lost focus of what the final goal was."
The Falcons (0-3) came out ready to play and took the first set thanks to a pair of aces each from Renee Hill and Aleesa Bondelle and eight combined kills from Jacky Tanner and sophomore Taylor Massengale.
Sutter (5-3) battled back to take the second game of the evening, but when River Valley took the third, the Huskies found themselves with their backs to the wall. However, they suddenly sprang to life.
DeHaan stepped to the service line and staked the Huskies to a quick 5-0 lead in the fourth set, and after Olson slammed down four kills later in the game, Sutter opened up a 21-9 lead. DeHaan added three kills and two blocks in the game, and when Brenna McDonald closed the set with a kill, the two teams switched sides for the final game of the evening.
Once again, the service line proved to be the deciding factor as DeHaan served the Huskies to an early 3-0 lead. The Huskies eventually went up 6-1 in the deciding game, but the Falcons rallied back behind the strong play of Massengale and Tanner to knot it at 12-12.
The comeback wasn't to be, however, as DeHaan spiked the ball down for a side-out and was followed by another kill from Olson to make the score 14-12. The Falcons then made an unforced error to give Sutter the final point and the match.
"We're a really good team. There's a history of losing here, but we're changing the way they think and doing everything we can to fix things," said River Valley coach Jenny Dove. "We're taking baby steps. We've never went five games with Sutter before, so that's our victory for tonight."
Olson had 12 kills and five digs and McDonald added 12 kills as well to lead the Huskies. DeHaan finished with seven kills and three blocks, Katelynne Cavalli had eight kills, Shaila Gidel added 12 digs and two blocks and Alli Foster posted 40 assists.
Massengale led the Falcons with 14 kills and three blocks and Tanner added nine kills and 15 digs for the Falcons. Freshman Sierra Pedley had 12 digs, sophomore McKenzie Skyberg had 37 assists and Chelsy Jurado added 20 for River Valley.