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Lady Falcons romp past Bruins to take control of PVL

By: Mike Ray
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COLFAX – Cool. Calm. Collected.

That pretty much sums up the effort of the Colfax High girls volleyball team Monday night as the Lady Falcons turned an expected showdown with Bear River for the Pioneer Valley League lead into a dominating one-sided performance.

Receiving a collective team effort from a host of different players, the senior-laden Lady Falcons played liked the veteran team they are in dispatching the visiting Bruins, 25-15, 25-15, 25-18, in a match that took just over 70 minutes to play.

“I thought everyone played just great tonight,” said Colfax coach Haley Biles. “It was a real team effort with a lot of different players contributing.”

Bear River coach Matt MacDonald also came away impressed.

“They were the more physical team tonight,” said MacDonald. “I thought our youth really showed. Colfax looked liked a championship-level team tonight. Credit to them for a great performance.”

Colfax, with eight returnees from last season’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship team logging the major playing time, set the tone as the Lady Falcons built early leads and never looked back in taking the first two sets.

In the two teams’ first meeting back on Sept. 19, Colfax had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to outlast the Bruins in five exciting games. But Monday, the Lady Falcons trailed just once in the match, 2-1 in the third and final set, before going on a 14-5 run to get on their way to the convincing win.

“This was a totally different match from the first time we played them,” said Biles. “Bear River is a good team with a lot of young players. We were just a little better tonight.”

Entering the match, if Colfax had a game plan for slowing down Bear River’s standout outside hitter Callie Bickmore, the Lady Falcons worked it to perfection.

Bickmore, who came into the match with 207 kills this season, ran into a formidable Lady Falcons blocking wall of Halle Neumann, Grace Bliss, Jacy Dean and Keegan O’Sullivan that for most of the evening kept the Bruins’ kills leader under control.

“We couldn’t let Bickmore get going or it could have been a long night,” said Biles. “The girls did a real good job.”

While Neumann, Dean and Bliss carried the bulk of the Colfax offense, the Lady Falcons also received sterling floor efforts from libero Hailee Mulic and defensive specialist Sara Detwiler. Also checking in with strong play and good all-around matches were Hanna Hinrichs, Nellie Balk and Lydia Michael.

The victory for Colfax, now 7-0 in PVL matches, gives the Lady Falcons a two-match cushion in the league race with three matches to play. Overall, Colfax, which will play D-IV this season for the playoffs, is now 18-8.

Bear River, meanwhile, slips to 5-2 in PVL matches. The Bruins, 15-9 overall, will also play D-IV in the postseason.

“We want to finish strong and hope for a good seeding for the playoffs,” said Biles. “We don’t want to let up now.”

In the preliminary matches, both Colfax’s JV and Frosh teams swept the Bruins, 2-0, to remain undefeated in PVL play.