Mama said there’ll be days like this. There’ll be days like this, mama said. (Mama said, mama said).
That chorus pretty accurately sums up the way things went for Beaver Dam’s prep girls volleyball Thursday night, as the Golden Beavers let a two-sets-to-none lead evaporate and then let a two-point lead in the fifth-and-deciding set slip through their fingers in a 19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-11, Badger North Conference loss to Reedsburg in what was the team’s final home match at Beaver Dam High School’s South Gym.
“That one feels like we got gut-punched,” BD head coach Alan Capps said of letting Reedsburg finish the fifth set on an 8-2 run after the Golden Beavers had led 9-7 before that point.
“Reedsburg’s body language was defeated and we had confidence,” Capps added. “And then all of a sudden … we were down two instead of up two. That was the moment.”
It certainly was BD’s opportunity to atone for lackluster showings in the third and fourth sets.
But after a kill by Afton Bartol, a kill by Emily Swanson, and a block by Bartol provided three straight points to cap off 4-0 run for BD, Reedsburg answered and eventually took the match on back-to-back kills by Mallory Stingley and Brooklyn Schyvinck.
Things were much happier for the Golden Beavers in the early going.
Summer Saletell’s kill capped off a 7-1 run for BD to win a first set that included 13 ties and six lead changes.
And then a kill by Bartol — she had 12 kills against only one error to lead the way for BD — finished off the second-set victory after a 10-2 Golden Beavers’ run midway through the set provided the necessary cushion to get the job done.
The key in those first two sets for BD?
“Blocking,” Capps said. “They were having a hard time getting the ball over the net, and even if we didn’t get the stuff-block, we were getting touches.”
In other words, BD was disrupting Reedsburg’s rhythm.
Then complacency set in.
“We got very relaxed in the third set, and don’t get me wrong, I was relaxed too,” Capps said. “(Momentum) kind of ticked away a little bit, it ticked away a little bit more, we saw that gap get a little bit bigger, and then we lost.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s a five-set match. But losing set three was the turning point. We’re still young and learning how to win, and doubt crept in. We were playing with so much confidence in the first two sets, and then doubt crept in.”
Still, the night wasn’t all bad as the match served as a fundraiser during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
And but for mistake here or a bad break there, Beaver Dam would have come away the winner instead of the other way around.
The young players that form the core of the program are improving.
“We’re just being more efficient with the ball,” Capps said. “Our serve-receive was great tonight, our setting was just a little off. And that kind of hurt us.”
REEDSBURG 3, BEAVER DAM 2
Reedsburg 19 18 25 25 15
Beaver Dam 25 25 20 18 11
Reedsburg leaders: Kills – Brooklyn Schyvinck 25, Mallory Stingley 10. Assists – Ally Gesteland 40. Aces – Ally Gesteland 2, Brooklyn Schyvinck 2. Blocks – Mallory Stingley 2, Brooklyn Schyvinck 2. Digs – Cheyanne Grundahl 44.
Beaver Dam leaders: Kills – Afton Bartol 12, Tara Stauffacher 10. Assists – Emily Schliesman 18, Hailee Jahnke 15. Aces – Kirsten Storhoff 2. Blocks – Summer Salettel 7, Tara Stauffacher 7. Digs – Harlee-Ann Bussewitz 22.