Lady Bruins roll past Marysville in Round 1 (VIDEO) |

Lady Bruins roll past Marysville in Round 1 (VIDEO)

Bear River's Savannah Wirth and Nerissa Long go up for a block against Marysville during a round one playoff game Tuesday at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.
John Hart/ | The Union

The defending Sac-Joaquin Division IV champs are now one step closer to making it back-to-back titles after throttling Marysville Tuesday night at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium in the opening round of the playoffs.

Bear River walloped the Lady Indians thanks to its impressive and balanced attack, sending Marysville packing in three straight sets, 25-7, 25-7, 25-11.

There were no major speed bumps in the road for the No. 3 seed Lady Bruins (19-14) when they battled the Lady Indians. After surrendering the matche’s first two points to Marysville, Bear River found its game and went on a 25-5 tear to close out the set. The team had help from all around, keeping Marysville on its toes and making quick work of the No. 14 seed from the Golden Empire League.

“It’s a different feeling knowing we have to prove ourselves,” said senior opposite hitter Shalyn Klauer, who dropped down four kills for the match. “We’re going to the second round of the playoffs. I’m really excited. I think we all have high expectations. As long as we go out and play as hard as we can, we’ll be happy.”

Marysville was off balance and overwhelmed by Bear River’s quickness and well-placed hits. Tips, smack downs, lofty shots and cross-court lasers, there was little hope for the visitors.

The Lady Bruins squad didn’t slow down either, opening the second set on a 16-1 run. It seemed Marysville had balls flying everywhere except for in bounds. and the squad became flustered to the point of breaking down with its communication, letting returnable shots slip through the cracks. Bear River’s big hitters, Kirsten Pereira, Teryn Rath, Kaely Rath and Klauer, combined for 23 kills, but it was mostly the unpredictability of where they came from that put out the Lady Indians’ fire.

“Offensively, I thought we played a really solid game,” said Bruins head coach Matt MacDonald. “Outside, middle — we were just able to move the ball a lot, definitely one of our better games, such a balanced attack.”

After earning a comfortable 2-0 lead Bear River still kept its foot on the pedal and roared out to a 12-3 advantage in Game 3. Almost everyone was able to get involved, too, as Bear River had expanded its roster for this season’s playoff run.

“Fifteen of our 17 players went in, and we called up six from JV,” added MacDonald, who was especially impressed with Klauer’s contributions. “Shalyn coming big with kills, young girls getting great swings — we have to continue to have balance. If (Klauer) can have games with four or five kills and just mix in, it’s players like that who help win championships.”

Teryn Rath stepped up big in her offensive role as well, swatting down eight kills, including one which may have dented the floor. She also added a block and four digs in the victory. Pereira had a great touch on several of her scores, charging the net only to tip the ball gracefully down between the scrambling Lady Indians. Sophomore Savannah Wirth gave a valiant effort, running back and forth to toss up 31 assists for the match.

“Every single one stepped up,” Klauer said. “We all came together as a family. Our competition is definitely going to get tougher. We need to get better each day if we want to continue.”

Next up for the Lady Bruins will be the No. 6 seed Los Banos Tigers, who defeated the No. 11 seed, Ripon, in three straight sets. The teams will square off 7 p.m. Thursday in what will be another home game for Bear River.

“It’s early,” said MacDonald. “It’s going to be a difficult match. I saw (Los Banos and Ripon) at the Stockton Classic. They’re really well-coached. It’s going to be a battle.”

Also in D-IV action, the No. 9 seed Colfax Falcons spread their wings on the road, stunning undefeated No. 8 seed West Campus in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-21, 25-16 to advance to the second round, where it will travel to take on No. 1 seed Sonora.

To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email

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