By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– North Marion Head Coach Trevor Bodine asked his team during a timeout during the fifth set of the Huskies tough 25-22, 22-25, 22-25,25-21, 13-15 loss to Corbett Wednesday night how much they wanted this game.
The Huskies led 9-6 during the timeout against the Cardinals and found themselves six points from forcing a tiebreaking game Thursday night to determine an out-right Tri-Valley Conference Champion entering the postseason.
“I think that last set taught us focus. It’s really important when it’s a very tight game, making minimal errors,” said North Marion’s Alana Walls. “It really comes down to who makes the least mistakes at the end when it’s tight like that. Everyone should be expecting that ball and just working as a team. Really selling out, going all out that we really need to do.”
Throughout the match, there was that constant challenge of staying in the game and being focused.
During that fourth set for example, the Huskies led 8-0 and 12-3 early against the eighth-ranked Corbett squad. But slowly the Cards began to chip away at the lead before North Marion had shut the door to force a decisive fifth-set on the Huskies Senior Night.
Kelsey Richardson helped lead North Marion in the first set. A matter of fact as Richardson, Walls and Katie Ensign shined on their final regular season home game, it was a team effort with Jayden Sahlin, Mackenzie Agnew and Lili Piercey helped the Huskies to stay with Corbett.
Ensign shined in the fifth set to help build the lead coming out of the timeout.
The Cardinals rallied to tie at 11 before a Service Error and an Ensign ace gave North a 13-11 lead with the match win in reach.
“We all wanted it so bad. We knew we had to leave it all on the floor,” said Ensign. “We had to come out with bruises…we lost this game but we gone after it the whole game. We wanted it so bad.”
Just the little things as Ensign hit the net on her next serve and an Piercey error had allowed the Huskies to fall behind as a Corbett kill sealed the TVC-crown for the road team Wednesday.
The bright spot from this game was that the Huskies, who finished second in league, had already qualified for the 4A State Playoffs entering their home game-finale. And yes a league title to boot would be nice, but it just adds fuel to the fire entering the first round of the postseason.
“We’re going to take it as a way to get better and we’re not going to come back sad, we’re going to comeback mad and we’re going to play again with our hearts out,” said Ensign.