Home Featured Riverdale forces 5th set but falls short against Hardin Northern

Riverdale forces 5th set but falls short against Hardin Northern

Setting it up
Riverdale’s Tayler Yoder (12) pushes the ball into the air Tuesday night against Hardin Northern. The Polar Bears took a five-set victory.
Daily Chief-Union/Kendrick Jesionowski

MOUNT BLANCHARD — After Hardin Northern easily cruised to a game one win in its volleyball match against Riverdale on Tuesday night, it looked like it may be an easy night for the Polar Bears.

The Falcons had other ideas, however, as they pulled away just as easily for a win in game two.

The match was a dogfight the rest of the way before Hardin Northern finally came away with the five-set 25-16, 15-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11 victory in the non-league matchup.

Morgan Pauley had 6 aces on 29 of 30 serving and Rylie Bame finished with 20 kills to lead the Polar Bears (3-7).

After struggling throughout game four, a Riverdale 25-21 win to deadlock the match, the Polar Bears regained the momentum early in game five, jumping ahead 5-1 thanks in part to aces by Kennedy Hall and Gabby Weaver.

Tayler Ashburn had a pair of kills for the Falcons to get them back within 5-3 before a pair of Falcons hitting miscues made it a four-point game again.

Riverdale (3-4) got within two points three more times in the final game — including 13-11 on a spike by Bry VandenBosch — before Polar Bears put the match in the win column on a kill by Megan Miller and an ace by Hall.

Hall, a freshman, finished the match with 4 aces.

“I said if you guys want this, you better take it,” Hardin Northern coach Dorothy Cory said.

“I told them ‘listen, stay down and play your best.’”

She added she felt her team may have gotten complacent after winning the first game so easily.

“That’s what they do sometimes,” she said.

“They go out and play in one game and think, ‘Oh, we got this,’ and then it’s like ‘whatever’ and they take their foot off the gas.”

In game one, Hardin Northern jumped ahead 7-0 and was never challenged as the closest Riverdale got was 12-8 before Hardin Northern went on a 10-1 run to pull away once again.

Riverdale’s Grace Wetherill (15) gets a hand up to block a Hardin Northern attack Tuesday night in the Polar Bears’ five-set victory.
Daily Chief-Union/Kendrick Jesionowski

Game two was just the opposite as it was the Falcons pulling out to a 7-1 lead.

After Hardin Northern got within 9-8 on a spike by Pauley, Riverdale went on a 9-1 run, taking an 18-9 advantage on an ace by Grace Wetherill.

In the ensuing play, a kill by Ashburn and ace by Tayler Yoder helped push the Falcon advantage to 22-11.

The Falcons were able to close out the game on a spike by VandenBosch.

Vanden Bosch finished with eight kills, 10 digs and two aces; Grace Wetherill chipped in with 11 kills, twoaces and seven digs and Ashburn contributed 12 kills, seven digs and an ace.

Yoder finished with 27 assists. four aces and two kills.

With the score knotted at 7, Hardin Northern tallied eight straight points to take control of game three.

In game four Hardin Northern rallied from a 12-7 deficit to tie the game at 21-21 before the Falcons scored the final four points to even the match at two games each.

Pauley added 7 kills for the Polar Bears in the match, while Megan Miller and Alex Jackson had five kills each.

Renee Newton had two solo blocks. Pauley, Bame and Jackson had one block each.

Defensively for the Polar Bears, Pauley finished with 18 digs, while Emma Miller ended up 17 and Gabby Weaver contributed 15.

Weaver had 30 assists, while Kennedy Hall also had eight serve receptions.

Cory said she felt her team strength in the serving game proved to be one of the differences in the match.

“I try to control the match by where I serve, because I don’t want certain hitters to hit against me,” the HN coach said.

“That’s what I love to do and the girls understand that for the most part and for the most part they do get them where I want them to go. I really want to control the match so teams can’t get at us.”

Riverdale coach Amanda Ribley said she felt good about team’s effort.

“Coming into this match we had just come off a couple of games where we just weren’t clicking together and the fight just wasn’t there, so coming into tonight we knew it was important to have that,” she said.

“Overall I’m really proud of the girls. They did have times where they fought back harder than I’ve ever seen them fight and they had times where the mistakes kind of got to their head.”

“In the beginning, I was a little nervous just knowing what we had been playing like,” the Falcons mentor added.

“But I believe in every one of those girls on the court and knew that they had that fight in them. We haven’t beat Hardin Northern since we started playing them and I know the girls really wanted this match tonight. Going into game two I was a little nervous, but they pulled it out much better than I ever thought they could.”

Riverdale won the junior varsity match 25-27, 25-22, 25-20.

The Falcons play at 5:30 p.m. today at Liberty-Benton.

DC-U news bureau

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