Bellefonte rallies to take out Central Mountain Wildcats, 3-2
BELLEFONTE — It was an epic night at the Bellefonte gymnasium Wednesday night when the Red Raiders Volleyball team hosted Central Mountain in a non-league confrontation.
It looked like a short night as Central Mountain went up 2-0, but the Lady Raiders would not go away. Bellefonte battled back to win the the next two, forcing a deciding game.
In the final game, the Red Raiders battled all the way back to win the game, 3-2.
The Wildcats took the first two matches 25-19 and 25-15.
Bellefonte took a 25-15 and 25-17 contest.
In the third and deciding game, the Lady Raiders won 15-13.
“Tonight I told them to play tough and we can’t let anyone walk all over us. We have to work hard. I am very proud of how they came back after two games,” Bellefonte coach Teri Kerr said. “Even though they lost their first two, they were on top of their game and came out with the victory.”
Tied at two going into their final game, Central Mountain jumped out to an early 5-1 lead on the serving of Loni Duck who scored four quick service points for the Wildcats.
But Bellefonte chipped away at the lead thanks to strong serves by Phoebe Rowland who picked up two consecutive service points, cutting things to 5-3.
Both teams seemed to be peaking at the same time as they exchanged side outs numerous times.
In between the side runs, Bellefonte was able to capture two service points to knot them at seven with the Wildcats.
Picking up the service points were McKenna Hendrix and Chelsie Robson. Both picked up points off of long volleys.
With the game tied at nine, Bellefonte started to sizzle once again as Morgan Young stepped up to the service line. With the help of a Wildcats miscue, a dink by teammate Hendrix and some good strong front row action, she rolled off four consecutive points to put her team ahead 13-9.
But Central Mountain would not let the game end like that as they battled back into it thanks to two late service points by Duck, bringing the game to within one at 14-13.
But on the following serve, the ball sailed just past the end line, giving the young Red Raiders something to celebrate and learn from.
Despite the loss, Central Mountain coach Scott Garman was still very happy with the effort his girls put out in the winner take all contest.
“Credit goes to Bellefonte. Bellefonte could have packed it up and folded after the first two games and they didn’t. They brought their A-game. They stopped making a lot of unforced errors and kept the ball on the floor. We even had them down 5-0 and they still came back to win so credit Bellefonte,” Garman said. “I’m proud of my girls. We are trying to teach them that it’s more about not worrying about the product, but more about the process. On the last serve, Ronnie missed the serve, but I’m proud of her because it was a good serve. She didn’t hit it and try to do the easy thing and keep it in which means you probably lose in the long run anyway. She did what we’ve been telling her and teaching her to do. Sure, it’s a defeat, it hurts, we don’t like it, but there are positives to take away.”
In the first game, Taylor Kinley had seven service points while teammate Madison Knepp had five in the victory.
In a losing decision, Bellefonte got a strong effort at the service line by Rowland, who had three.
Game number two had the Wildcats storm out to an early lead and never look back.
McKenzie Hanna picked up an early service point while teammate Knepp followed with six unanswered service points, making it 7-3.
But it would be the serving of Taylor Kinley that would put the Wildcats up 11-4 en route to the victory.
In game three, the tides turned as Rowland got her team rolling by posting five service points. That would be the spark the Lady Raiders needed as they finished off the rest of the game by a 25-15 score.
In the fourth game, it was much of the same from Bellefonte as they were finding the spots on the floor where the Wildcats weren’t and were able to put a strong front at the front line. With the 25-19 win, the Red Raiders carried the momentum into the final game, setting the stage for a nailbiter that most of both fans will not forget for a long time.
Central Mountain 2
CM 25 25 15 17 13
BE 19 15 25 25 15