Bear River dominates Dixon in opening round
Special To The Union
Bruins 3, Rams 0
1 2 3 4 F
BR 25 25 25 3
D 13 14 19 0
BR: Kaely Rath- 9 kills, 2 blocks
BR: Savannah Wirth- 15 assists, 6 digs
BR: Melanie Jenkins- 13 assists, 5 digs
BR: Ashley Albee- 7 kills, 4 digs
Taking the court by storm, the No. 3 seed Bear River girls volleyball team unleashed its fury in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section D-IV playoffs, dismantling No. 14 Dixon Tuesday night at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.
The Lady Bruins made it look easy and got help from all around, giving their fans plenty to cheer about, winning the match in straight sets, 25-13, 25-14, 25-19.
“We were able to spread the ball around,” said Bruins’ coach Matt MacDonald. “The first game we got our opposites going. Nerissa and Eleesa had some good swings. In the second game our outside hitters, Kaely and Ashley, played really well, and in the third set we got the middles going. We haven’t played in like 12 or 13 days so with a long break it was good to get some balance.”
Senior Kaely Rath led the charge with nine kills and two blocks, including a heat-seeker to knock down the game point in the first set as the Bruins went on a 15-5 run to close it out. Senior Savannah Wirth set up her teammates masterfully, tallying 15 assists to go with six digs. Senior Melanie Jenkins tossed up 13 assists and added five digs, and senior Brooke Hieski stepped up defensively to lead the team with 12 digs.
With a well-executed Bear River offensive attack, shots rained down from all directions and the Lady Rams were on their heels, struggling to get anything going on their own end. The Lady Bruins also demonstrated deception with impressive tips that found their way between Dixon defenders.
In the second set, the Lady Bruins exploded on a 13-5 run to close it out and push its lead to 2-0.
“Dixon is a quality team,” added MacDonald. “They came out that third game, played pretty tough, gave us a good game. You get to a playoff situation and everybody realizes hey this our last chance. Even if a team is up 2-0, we’ve seen it, teams come back.”
After opening a 6-0 in the third set, Bear River faced one last push from Dixon, which came within two, trailing 9-7, but Bruins’ juniors Ashlee Albee and Alex Staples delivered in the clutch, extending the lead to 22-11. Albee smacked down seven kills on the night to go with four digs, while Staples swatted down six kills and a block.
The Lady Bruins (37-3) will host the winner of No. 6 Escalon versus No. 11 Bret Harte on Thursday.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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