By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity volleyball team defeated Oroville, 3 – 1, last Thursday (Sept. 18) after opening the week with a rough back-to-back road schedule that included a 3 – 2 loss to non-league Soap Lake and a 3 – 1 win over league rival Tonasket.
Following a day’s rest the Lady Lions were ready for the Hornets.
Liberty Bell looked like it was going to make a clean sweep of Oroville as the first two games ended 25 – 17 and 25 – 11.
In game three, the Hornets dug in to play their best game of the set and held off their determined host, 25 – 23. To their credit, the Hornets’ defense scooped what should have been several Lauren Fitzmaurice kill shots off the court to keep rallies going and gain the final two-point advantage.
In the fourth and deciding game, the Lady Lions took early control in what appeared to be the road to a rout. Fitzmaurice started things off with a decisive opening point kill, and Ashley Watson added seven more from the service line while Oroville struggled to put a single point on the board.
At 8 – 1, the Hornets found their wings and swarmed back with a 12-point rally that suddenly found the Lady Lions on the short end of a 13 – 9 score.
Coach Tim Boonstra settled his team down and Liberty Bell, behind some good serves by Torie Weber, clawed its way back to a 15 – 15 tie. From there the Lady Lions never gave up the lead as Erin Schuh and Erin Frey delivered from the service line while Weber and Fitzmaurice contributed kills to reach the 25 – 21 final.
The Lady Lions were scheduled to play Brewster on the road on Tuesday (Sept. 23) before returning home to host Bridgeport on Thursday (Sept. 25). On Saturday (Sept. 27), Liberty Bell will travel to Omak for a non-league game against the Pioneers and then again face the league rival Hornets at Oroville on Tuesday (Sept. 30).