PREP VOLLEYBALL: Bear River edged by Union Mine | TheUnion.com

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Bear River edged by Union Mine

Brian Shepard
Special to The Union

Leading 2-0, the playoffs were well within reach for the Bear River boys volleyball team. Competing in a pivotal Sierra Valley Conference League bout against Union Mine Tuesday evening at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium the Bruins had everything working early on.

However, the Diamondbacks had other plans and roared back to win three straight sets to seal a postseason berth, 19-25, 21-25, 25-14, 25-18, 15-9.

"We came out pumped up," said Bruins' head coach Jonathan Good. "We all knew what was on the line and it showed. We were the better team those first two games and then our inexperience showed up. Anytime we've had a good opponent like this and they go on a run we kind of stop believing in ourselves."

Bear River overcame early deficits in both its first and second set victories before dominating down the stretch. Yet, once the third set got underway the Bruins never saw a lead again. The Diamondbacks found their stride, capitalized on Bruin blunders and rallied with ease, quickly opening large leads.

"Obviously (Union Mine) started playing a lot better," added Good, who was also without senior Sam Nichols. "It's a tough one. We have a couple of seniors who won't get to go to playoffs, which would have been good for the younger guys. Pretty excited now (for next year) that they've played together a whole season."

Freshman Jace Rath led the team with 16 kills and five blocks. Freshman Weston Prosser tossed up 39 assists. Junior Noah Skowronski swatted down eight kills, followed by sophomore Brad Smith with seven kills and senior Trevor Chandler with five kills and nine blocks.

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A victory would have moved Bear River into a tie for third place with Union Mine and potentially set up a head-to-head play-in game for the postseason.

Next up Bear River (8-5, 5-5 SVCL) travels to take on Lincoln Thursday and ends its season back at home on Tuesday for Senior Night versus Placer.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.