NORTH BEND — The North Bend volleyball program is still building under second-year coach Jessica Randle, and Tuesday night was another step in that growth.
Though the visiting Springfield Millers swept the Bulldogs 25-17, 25-20, 25-18, it wasn’t a lost night. Freshman Sydney Wilson made her varsity debut at setter and notched 14 assists.
North Bend's Brooklyn Lyon bumps the ball Tuesday during a match against Springfield at North Bend High School. Springfield swept North Bend 3-0.
“She got her varsity jersey today and stepped in,” Brooklyn Lyons said.
It was a disappointing loss for the Bulldogs, who took the Millers to five sets at the end of August.
Senior Lyons, who moved over to outside hitter from her normal spot as setter to let Wilson in the starting lineup, wondered if maybe the Bulldogs thought Tuesday’s match would be an easy one, that five sets was assured because of the last meeting.
“I think we have came into this game thinking we can take it to five sets, hopefully three,” Lyons said. “But this was a new lineup this time. We were just trying things out.”
The Bulldogs weren't able to finish sets well in the loss.
In all three sets, North Bend was tied with Springfield 10 points in. But in all three sets, Springfield pulled away late and either won going away or held off a late Bulldog rally.
In Set 1, a 10-10 tie turned into a 17-11 Springfield lead.
A 12-12 tie in Set 2 forced a Springfield timeout after a 4-1 North Bend run. Hayden Markel had one of her 12 kills and Wilson dropped in an ace.
But Springfield rattled off eight of the next 10 points to take a 21-15 lead from which North Bend couldn’t recover.
The same happened in the third set, when a 16-15 North Bend lead quickly flipped to a 21-16 deficit after six straight Cameron Branch aces.
“We’re gonna really focus on that 18-25 point, and how do we execute those points,” Randle said. “So that is a good focus for us.”
With five matches to play, North Bend is eliminated from playoff contention, but that doesn’t make those matches unimportant or not worth playing.
North Bend can still play the spoiler, and Randle is hoping for just that.
“We have nothing to lose, so we’re gonna leave nothing on the court,” Randle said. “My quote this week was to leave nothing on the court but your skin. I know that sounds rough, but that’s really where we’re headed.”