Bucs survive Cougars: Beach needs 5 sets to edge, defeat Heart River in a Region 7 match
BELFIELD — The Heart River volleyball team threw everything at Beach but the kitchen sink.
Lucky enough for the Buccaneers, they were able to find just enough offense, which was led by Hailee Farstveet with 21 kills, to take a five-set 15-25, 25-21, 26-24, 21-25, 15-11 win over Heart River to close out the regular season on Tuesday.
“We really struggled tonight,” Beach head coach Shae Peplinski said. “We weren’t playing consistent. We weren’t playing smart. We weren’t on our game. It just little simple things that we got to fix.”
Though the game didn’t end in the win column, Heart River head coach Hope Volesky said she’s pleased with the way her team played.
The spot Volesky was most impressed with was the team’s ability to dig many of Beach’s attacks. Alex Poland led the Cougars with 35 digs, while Gracey Gross and Karli Northrop supplied 17 and 16, respectively.
“Our defense played really hard,” Volesky said. “They picked up a lot of balls. Aside from winning the game, we can’t ask for a better game going into the regional tournament. We are going in there with a lot of confidence.”
Beach used 6-foot-2 middle hitter Channa Clarin at any opportunity. The junior finished with 17 kills and 14 blocks. Clarin said it wasn’t easy coming away with a win.
“They definitely gave us a run for our money tonight,” she said with a smile. “They are really scrappy, so they were able to dig up what we dished out. They are a really good team.”
The Cougars, which celebrated senior night before the game, came out firing on all cylinders. Not to mention, Heart River took advantage of every single mistake Beach made in the first set. The Cougars jumped out to a quick 15-5 lead and never looked back. The closest the Buccaneers came was six points after back-to-back Heart River kill errors.
“We played probably the best we’ve ever played,” said Northrop, who finished with 17 kills. “We played together. We played with confidence. We had fun.”
The next two sets were owned by Beach, but even in a loss the Cougars continued to fight. The Buccaneers grabbed set two after Clarin ripped a pair of kills to tie up the match 1-1.
In the third set, each team battled back and forth. However, it was Beach which ended up the victors after a Clarin kill and Heart River was called for a lift violation.
“Heart River hustles,” Peplinski said. “Unless we put it down hard, they are great team and they are going to go after it. They picked up a lot more stuff that other teams wouldn’t.”
Heart River nabbed the fourth set after opening with a 16-7 run. Beach made a 12-2 run, but didn’t have enough power to finish out the set. Northrop, who finished with a team-high 15 kills, knocked down the set-winning kill to tie up the match 2-2.
“Karli can place the ball where she wants to,” Volesky said. “She might hit the ball hard every time, but she is a very good ball placer. She’ll pick up on their defense and hit to the open spot.”
Entering the fifth set, the Cougars had been in this situation before. On Oct. 22, Heart River took Trinity to five sets, but couldn’t come out with a win.
It was a different night, but the same outcome. The Cougars and Buccaneers traded points until Beach went on a brief three-point run which included back-to-back Clarin blocks. Heart River wasn’t able to make a comeback and Beach ended the set on a Cid Stedman kill.
The Cougars’ Kayla Raskin had the tall task of matching up with Clarin. Raskin finished with 12 kills and six blocks, while Desiree Johnson chipped in nine kills and five blocks.
“Kayla had a really good night,” Volesky said. “We tried playing her up against Clarin as much as we could. She had a really good night and I couldn’t ask for a better night for her.”
Despite a win or loss to end the season, each team is looking toward the Region 7 Tournament beginning on Friday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Peplinski and Volesky said records are thrown out the window, because every team has the possibility of winning.
“We just have to play consistent and we have to play up,” Peplinski said. “We have to bring momentum to every match we play.”
Volesky added: “We’re very confident going in and we are going to leave everything on the court. The girls know it’s win or go home basically.”
Beach 15 25 26 21 15 — 3
Heart River 25 21 24 25 11 — 2
Kills: B, Hailee Farstveet 21, Channa Clarin 17, Cid Stedman 5, Bailey Waldal 4, Paige Rising 2. HR, Karli Northrop 15, Kayla Raskin 12, Desiree Johnson 9, Nettie Splichal 7, Addison Olson 6.
Blocks: B, Clarin 14, Farstveet 4, Waldal 3, Ashlynn Dietz 2. HR, Raskin 6, Johnson 5
Aces: B, Brooklyn Zachmann 1, Chantel Fulton 1. HR, Gracey Gross 2.
Digs: B, Rising 11, Stedman 10, Farstveet 10, Waldal 8. HR, Alex Poland 35, Gross 17, Northrop 16.
Assists: B, Fulton 21, Dietz 14. HR, Jada Mattson 44.