BROOKINGS – Momentum normally plays a factor in the outcome of a sporting event, but in volleyball, once a team lets the ‘Big Mo’ slip away, it’s almost always impossible to get it back.
That was the case Tuesday night at the BHS Auxiliary Gymnasium where the Bobcats won the first two sets over Sioux Falls Roosevelt – 25-23 and 25-15 – but then dropped the next three in a 3-2 loss to the Rough Riders.
Roosevelt dominated play in the third set – winning 25-9 – before posting a 25-18 win in Set 4 and then, taking the deciding set, 15-8.
“I think when it came to Set 3, it was a combination – Roosevelt really found its offense and we seemed to have a lapse in focus, as well,” said BHS head coach Jodi Melius. “Once we lost that focus in Set 3, it was really hard to regain our composure, especially against a good team, and Roosevelt is a good team.
“We had them on the ropes; we had them where we wanted them and we just couldn’t capitalize on the situation that we were in.”
The first set was tight early on before Brookings put together a 5-0 run – capped off by an Alli Gordon ace serve – that gave the ‘Cats a 10-5 edge.
The Riders closed to within a point at 12-11 before Johanna Miller’s kill gave BHS some breathing room.
Leading 15-13, Brookings built its lead to 19-14, prompting a Rider timeout, where they regrouped and rallied to get within 21-19, following the longest point of the set.
Down the stretch, a Bobcat hitting error allowed the Riders to get within 23-22, but Kylie Tucker’s kill made it 24-22. After double contact on a set attempt was called on the ‘Cats to make it 24-23, Roosevelt was called for four hits to give Brookings the point for the set win.
The Bobcats cruised out to an 11-3 lead in the second set before the Riders stormed back to pull within three points at 17-14.
But the ‘Cats closed out the set on an 8-1 run to take a two-set edge.
Set 3 was all Roosevelt as the Riders scored the first six points of the set and slowly pulled away for the 16-point win.
Brookings led 15-13 in Set 4 following a double block by Kyle Tucker and Clarissa Miller, but the Riders put together a 4-0 run for a 17-15 edge.
The ‘Cats got within a point at 18-17, but another Roosevelt rally – 7-1 – sent the match into the fifth set.
The Rough Riders jumped out to a 6-2 advantage, forcing a Bobcat timeout.
It didn’t matter as the visitors never allowed Brookings to closer than a four points the rest of the way.
Kailee Bartels led the Bobcats at the net with nine kills and four block assists, while Tucker added seven kills and two block assists. Michaela Jewett notched six kills, three block assists, 31 set assists and 14 digs as the ‘Cats dropped to 2-7.
Ashlyn Borah collected 18 digs as Gordon and Miranda Ysbrand tallied 15 each and Molly Steffensen chipped in with 12.
Brookings travels to Huron on Thursday before returning to the BHS Auxiliary Gym for a Tuesday night match with Harrisburg.
JV – Roosevelt def. Brookings, 26-24, 25-20
Soph – Brookings def. Roosevelt, 20-25, 25-22, 15-7
Fresh A – Brookings def. Roosevelt, 25-11, 25-22
Fresh B – Brookings def. Roosevelt, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9
Register photos: Brookings’ Michaela Jewett (13) and Kylie Tucker attempt to block Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Erin Denevan during the second set of the Bobcats’ 3-2 nonconference loss to the Rough Riders on Tuesday night at the BHS Auxiliary Gymnasium.