Opening loss plagues Bruins against Placer |

Opening loss plagues Bruins against Placer

In a battle between the only two teams still unbeaten in Pioneer Valley League volleyball, Bear River fell to host Placer Wednesday night in four games.

The Hillgals held off the Lady Bruins 28-26 in a tight opening clash to take control early in a duel that ended 25-12, 19-25, 25-13 in favor of the hosts.

“We knew it was crucial for us to take that first one,” said Bruin coach Matt MacDonald. “If we took that first one, we’d got the momentum going for what we wanted to do.

“We were up 23-21, but we just couldn’t get a sideout.”

The disappointing defeat in game one left the Bruins in a bit of a funk in game two, falling behind two games to none. But Bear River bounced back with a strong third game, which made their coach proud.

“Especially with a young group of girls, that’s good to see,” MacDonald said. “I’m so proud of them. A lot of teams in the past would have folded, but they turned it on to get to that fourth (game).”

Game four saw Placer pull ahead 7-0 to put the Bruins back behind the eight ball early.

“You just can’t give a good team like Placer such a good run to start,” MacDonald said.

The Bruins, who slipped to 21-8 overall and 2-1 in the PVL, were led by Sara Schell’s seven kills and Katie Tomkiewicz’s six.

“(Placer) did a good job shutting down our outsides,” MacDonald said.

The Hillgals, who moved to 3-0 in league play, are back in action Monday at Lincoln. Bear River will also be in action Monday night, hosting rival Colfax (12-7, 1-1 PVL).

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