After seemingly nothing went right for Bolivar in its opening-set loss on Tuesday, the Lady Liberators overcame their early adversity to rally for two consecutive wins and notch a comeback victory over the Marshfield Lady Jays (21-25, 25-22, 25-21).
Led by a team-high 16 kills from junior Hope White, Bolivar (11-2-1) erased an 18-11 deficit in the second set and used that momentum to ensure it never trailed in the rubber set – further emphasizing its identity as a team that just keeps finding ways to win.
“I just knew that, as a team, if we were going to get a good pass and a good set, you've just got to put it away,” White said. “It really was an overall team effort.”
The Lady Liberators were sluggish out of the gate in the opening set – allowing Marshfield (5-8-1) to manufacture a 12-4 run after Bolivar held a small 3-2 lead in the early going. Even after managing to storm back late to tie the score at 19-19, Bolivar once again slipped in crunch time and yielded six of the set's final eight points.
“We had a little confidence block there in the beginning,” Bolivar head coach Krystal Allen said. “I think we just had to get our confidence up and remind ourselves that we're a good volleyball team.”
Thanks to a strong performance up front from senior Lydia McCall, the Lady Jays opened up an 18-11 advantage in the second set before Bolivar put together another comeback effort. This time, there would be no slip as the Lady Liberators rallied to boast their first lead of the set at 23-22 and proceeded to score the next two points to set up one final showdown.
White, along with fellow teammate and offensive weapon Anna Wolf (9 kills), led the third-set charge to cap the comeback and seal victory No. 11 for Bolivar.
With virtually all Marshfield eyes on the prolific junior combo of White and Wolf, a door was also open for Bolivar's less-targeted hitters to do some damage when needed.
“It definitely helps, but it also opens up opportunities for our pin-hitters,” said Allen in reference to the duo's ability to attack. “[Our opponents'] blockers really stick with with Anna [Wolf] and Hope [White], so our pin-hitters get holes in the block and they're able to execute as well. It really affects the whole team, all in all.”
The hard-fought match, a showcase in the COC Small Division, truly tested the will and endurance of all the players involved as both clubs refused to give in and instead let adrenaline take over.
“It's definitely hard, but that's what we go to practice for every day,” White added. “It's just what we do.”
Senior Kiley Ramsey led the way in the assists category for the Lady Liberators with 32.
Bolivar now has some extended time off and will hit the court on Sept. 27 for its next match at Hollister. Marshfield's next match takes place on Thursday at home, also against Hollister.