Bruin blast of Colfax girls volleyball team |

Bruin blast of Colfax girls volleyball team

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

The Colfax girls volleyball team was no match for Bear River Thursday night as the Lady Bruins battered the Lady Falcons with a barrage of hitters coupled with a relentless defense.

“We just don’t stop,” Bear River outside hitter Kirsten Pereira said. “When we get on a roll, we don’t stop.”

The Lady Bruins (27-12, 9-1 Pioneer Valley League) tore through Colfax (10-15, 6-4 PVL) with ease, winning in straight sets, 25-13, 25-13, 25-8, to advance to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.

Bear River shelled Colfax all night, getting emphatic kills from reigning PVL MVP Sara Schell as well as Pereira, Taryn Rath and Amanda Clark.

Schell notched 12 kills on the night to go with four aces, Pereira led the team in kills with 14, eight of which came in the second set alone, Rath tallied six kills, and Clark added four.

Setting up the talented Lady Bruin hitters was senior Kaya Johnson with 33 assists on the night.

After the game, Bear River head coach Matt MacDonald was singing the praises of his team’s defensive effort.

“Defense. We’ve been stressing it more than we have ever stressed it in four years,” he said. “I think for the first time we saw glimpses of what it will take defensively to play at the level we need to play at.”

Johnson said the Lady Bruins have been putting a heavier emphasis on the defensive aspect of their game this week in practice.

“We decided we were going to set a goal to step up our defense,” she said. “We worked on it in practice, and Haley (Brown), Aspen (Dutrow) and Chey (Gosalvez) picked it up. They played with a lot more hustle. They had a goal that they were going to get that ball up. Before the game we were like, ‘We are not letting the ball drop,’ and I’m really proud of them.”

With the victory, Bear River makes it three straight over Colfax and six straight victories overall without dropping a set.

In Thursday’s thrashing of Colfax, the Lady Bruins started out hot and never cooled. In the first set, the Lady Bruins went up 7-1 early and never looked back as they cruised to a 25-13 victory. Johnson found Schell several times for thunderous kills that set the tone for the rest of the match.

In the second set, Colfax played Bear River tough early, battling to a 7-7 tie. From there, Pereira took over. The junior delivered perfectly angled kills that sliced through the Colfax defense. Bear River went on an 18-6 run to close the set.

In the final set, it seemed that Colfax had all but given up as the Bruins raced out to a 17-4 lead. MacDonald used the big lead as an opportunity to get some of the Lady Bruin reserves and junior varsity call-ups some playing time.

Sophomore outside hitter Olivia Peterson used the chance to show what the Lady Bruin faithful can expect in the coming years as she fired down three kills in three attempts.

“To be able to do that is awesome,” said MacDonald of playing his reserves. “To have somebody that we’re going to rely on a lot next year, Olivia Petersen a sophomore, coming in cold and having not played a varsity match, to come in and get three kills on three swings, that’s just huge for the program.”

Bear River will now host Sonora (27-7, 13-1 Valley Oak League) Tuesday in the semifinals.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at

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