Hailey Miller chased a ball to within a few steps of the doors leading to the lobby, making a diving save to keep it alive. Libero Laurissa Kisler hurried over to send the ball back over the net during Wednesday’s NWAC volleyball match at DeVries Activity Center.
It’s going to take that kind of diving, digging, scraping kind of effort if the Vikings (0-7) want to change the culture to a program that won just one match a year ago. Big Bend took that first step, winning the first game against the Chokers (2-11), before losing their home opener in four games, 13-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-15.
The 25-13 victory in the first game didn’t translate into a victory over Grays Harbor from the NWAC West, but it was a little positive affirmation for a team taking baby steps with six freshmen on its 10-member roster.
“Winning that first game was huge for us. It’s definitely a building block,” said 5-foot-11 outside hitter Madison Powers from Boulder, Mont. “Coming off that season from hell last year (1-30), it’s good to know what it feels like moving forward.”
The Vikings held leads of 5-0, 7-1 and 19-4, rolling up a 25-13 opener to set the tone. But it didn’t hold and Grays Harbor, which lost in five games to Wenatchee Valley earlier in the night, gained momentum, erasing a 20-15 deficit with 10 consecutive points to tie the match at one game apiece, 25-20.
That momentum swing was enough to turn the tide for the Chokers, who finished the match with six players with 10 kills or more. Brooke Spoor and Sara Caraveo had 14 kills apiece for the Chokers.