They there are “power in numbers” in sports, but that’s not necessarily the case for high school volleyball.
With a rotation of only seven players, Hot Springs added two more notches to the win column last week. The Lady Savage Heat swept Victor at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Game scores were 25-16, 25-9 and 25-9.
On Thursday, Hot Springs and Noxon engaged in a fierce battle in Noxon. The match went the full five sets. The Lady Savage Heat lost the first two sets, then took the next two — forcing a deciding game. As did an earlier set, that one went to extended play before Hot Springs claimed the two-point victory. Scores were 20-25, 21-25, 29-27, 25-14 and 21-19.
The Lady Savage Heat came back from 10-point deficits in the first two games, but Noxon was able to hold on for wins in each. Hot Springs again rallied from behind in the third and fourth sets, giving the team a chance to win in five.
Hot Springs head coach Alisha Pablo was pleased with her team’s composure, especially late in the match.
“We don’t like to disappoint when we’re in Noxon,” she said. “We knew going in it would be a tough one. It was good that they pulled it together. They took those mistakes in the first two games and said, ‘that’s enough.’”
Pablo talked about the exciting fifth set.
“It was a thriller. We were tied for game point five or six times,” she said. “I love coaching games like that.”
The coach said the Lady Savage Heat, with only seven players, showed fatigue late in the match, but pulled it out.
“I was very impressed, especially after (county) fair week,” Pablo said.
Katelyn Christensen came on strong after the first two games and was the catalyst for Hot Springs, along with setter Sydney Jackson. “She never quit,” Pablo said of Jackson. “She’s really trying to make everything work for us. And she didn’t miss one serve.”
JACKSON LED led Hot Springs against Noxon with 44 assists and seven service aces. Christensen tallied 17 of Hot Springs’ 50 kills, and she had five blocks. Sage Jackson had 27 of the Lady Savage Heat’s 97 digs.
Delaney Weltz paced Noxon head coach Teri Wilkinson’s squad with 20 kills and four blocks. Riley Richter dished out 25 assists. Jenna Freeman had 18 digs and two aces.
Pablo indicated the difference in the match between her team and Victor was the skill level. “We scored 80 percent of our points on attacks,” she said.
Savannah Roosma “came on strong” against Victor, according to Pablo. ”It was a good match for her confidence,” she said, and she also led the team with her back-row play.
Sage Jackson and McKennzie Cannon had six kills each for Hot Springs, and Sydney Jackson had 19 assists. Cannon had four blocks, and Roosma led in digs with six.
Hot Springs takes a 3-0 conference record into Thursday’s home match against Arlee. Match times are 5:30 for JV and about 7 p.m. for varsity. On Saturday, the Lady Savage Heat play at Charlo with match times 4:30 and 6 p.m.
“It will be a tough week for us,” Pablo said. “We lost to both of them at the Drummond Tournament.” Those matches went to just 15 points. ““It will be interesting to see when we go to 25 (points).”