Girls Volleyball: Bear River rallies to topple Nevada Union |

Girls Volleyball: Bear River rallies to topple Nevada Union

Bear River's Alex Staples and Kaely Rath, right, go up for the block against Nevada Union's Quinn Heppe. Bear River won the non-league match 3-2.
John Hart/ | The Union

In a cross-county girls volleyball matchup between Nevada Union and Bear River, it was the Lady Bruins rallying from two sets down to earn area bragging rights Thursday night.

“Eight years coaching and we’ve never been down 2-0 and came back to win three straight,” said Bear River head coach Matt MacDonald. “This group grew up a ton tonight.”

After falling behind two sets to none on their home floor, Bear River (4-5) grabbed the momentum in the third set and rode it to a victory 11-25, 18-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-12.

“The first two sets we had big time nerves,” said MacDonald. “We have a young team, no seniors, not a lot of composure, but in the third set we made some plays, some momentum plays that changed the match and we were able to run with that.”

The Lady Miners (3-3) opened the game on a tear, capitalizing on the Lady Bruins’ early nerves and cruising to a 14-point first set victory. NU continued its early domination with a seven-point second set win, but then the match turned drastically.

In the third set, Bear River trailed 8-7 before breaking loose on an 11-3 run to grab a sizable lead. They would eventually take the set 25-14.

The Lady Bruins evened things up with a 25-20 fourth set victory to force a fifth and final set showdown.

Bear River junior Kaely Rath opened the fifth set with three straight kills and the Lady Bruins never looked back.

Rath finished the contest with a game-high 30 kills to go with eight digs and two blocks.

“The best thing about Kaely is that she’s been there,” MacDonald said. “She’s just a junior, but she has been on varsity since she was a freshman. She was on that team that won sections as a freshmen. She’s young, but that’s relative. She has a lot of experience working for her.”

Also coming up big for the Lady Bruins was Ashley Albee. The sophomore was second on the team in kills with 13.

“Ashley took her game to the next level starting in the third set,” MacDonald said. “We needed that second offensive weapon and she picked it up and got some big kills for us.”

Nevada Union coach Sam Hochwald said the loss is a tough one to take, but his players will learn some valuable lessons from the match.

“Consistency, that’s something we are working on,” Hochwald said. “Consistency and energy. With the five set match it was a learning experience and we saw some of our (peaks) and valleys.”

The Lady Miners were led by senior hitter Amanda Roberts with 15 kills and five aces. Nadia Torkman added nine kills, and Taylor Riley tossed up 21 assists.

Nevada Union gets back to work Saturday at the Vista Del Lago tournament. Bear River hits the court again Tuesday at Marysville.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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