Akilah Bussey leaps in the air while keeping her eye on the ball for a spike Sept. 13. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Lady Grizzly varsity volleyball leaves heart on court

Varsity volleyball hosted the Fall River Bulldogs to a full five-match game Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The pre-league game saw fantastic volleys and great teamwork throughout the matches.

Lassen ultimately left the game on the losing side of the 3-2 score, but with a total of 87 points earned during the evening, the Lady Grizzlies left the gym with pride.

Despite the overall loss, head coach Matt Paine was overwhelmingly positive about the performance seen from the Lady Grizzlies.

Taylor Shannon arches her back to put all of her energy into her spike while playing against the Bulldogs Sept. 13. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Paine commented, “It was a great first game for us.”

Lassen won the first and third matches with scores of 25-15 and 26-24, respectively. They lost matches two, four and five with scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 15-10, respectively.

The Grizzlies started off strong with their victory in the first match.

Maddie Hampton certainly got the ball rolling with three consecutive serves to grant the Grizzlies a 3-2 lead.

Ellie Stewart then followed up with four solid serves, the last of which was a single-touch ace, to bump up the Grizzlies to eight points.

A single-touch ace served by Hampton left the score at 16-11, Grizzlies.

Akilah Bussey scored the 22nd point for Lassen with a powerful spike that made a beeline for the ground.

At match point, the Fall River ladies were up to serve with a total of 15 points in their favor. The pressure proved to be too much for the serving Bulldog, however, as the serve was short and thus granted Lassen the win.

A shift in court sides also appeared to shift the odds as the Bulldogs ultimately won match two with a score of 25-13.

Fall River started out on top as the score reached an 11-point difference prior to Lassen’s third serve.

The seventh Grizzly point was earned with a combined block performed by Jamie Larson and Stewart.

Prior to the match’s end, Lassen earned an additional six points, but their total of 13 wasn’t enough to outdo Fall River’s 25.

Match three also started with the Bulldogs in the lead. A score of 15-11, Fall River, concerned some fans, but the worry was wasted effort, as Lassen would find their way to the top once more.

Paige Martin truly turned the tables with a spike and four consecutive serves to bring the score to 22-20, Bulldogs.

Fans were on their toes for the final few points of the match.

Allyza Andrade sets the ball for a teammate’s powerful spike against the Fall River Bulldogs. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Hampton and Stewart simultaneously earned Lassen’s 23rd point with a block at the net.

Next on the scoreboard was a 24-24 tie after the Bulldogs put too much power in the serve and sent it out of bounds.

Lassen earned point number 25 with a tip by Stewart that sent the Bulldogs scrambling. With another Grizzly point, the match was called in favor of the purple and gold.

Match four was closer than those prior as the lead continued to shift from Bulldogs to Grizzlies and back, much to the dismay of anxious fans.

Lassen stole the lead with 8-7 on the board from a spike made by Martin. However, it didn’t take long until the Bulldogs stole it back with 14-9 on the board.

As Lassen’s score reached double-digits, Fall River managed 18.

Lassen had Kelli Walsh to thank for their 15th point, as her spike couldn’t be returned.

Finally, Fall River scored point number 25 and settled the overall score at a 2-2 tie.

The intensity in match five was on a whole other level. Ties of 2-2 and 3-3 hit the scoreboard before Lassen stole the lead 5-3.

Fall River didn’t hesitate long to reintroduce the tie with 5-5 on the board before the score climbed to 6-6, and later, 8-8.

As the tension continued and it was clear that both sides were suffering from fatigue, the game only became more exciting for fans.

The Fall River ladies used the last of their energy to secure a five-point lead that ultimately resulted in their 15-10 victory.

With the last match declared a Bulldog win, the game was granted to Fall River with a final overall score of 3-2.

Paine said, “We’re definitely inconsistent right now, but we got some special performances from certain players.”

The home game may not have been a win, but with the league still yet to begin, the Grizzlies look to be in a great position for the season.

“I’m looking forward to seeing who steps up for us this year,” said Paine.