Looking to make up for their loss last week to Divine Child, Riverview Gabriel Richard traveled to Dearborn Monday night to try and settle the score.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 2-sets-to-0 lead, but the Falcons charged back and won the next three sets to come away with the 3-2 victory (23-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-16 and 15-11).
“The two biggest things we talk about with our girls in coming into this gym and being consistent and aggressive,” said Falcons coach Stephanie Smith. “We also talk to them about the difference between playing volleyball and competing. The first two sets we played volleyball, not particularly well, but we played volleyball. The last three we came to compete.”
Divine Child also overcame the same deficit last Thursday to beat Richard.
The Pioneers started off the first set on Monday night with a quick four-point lead, but then Sam Hejka stepped up and served up an eight-point run that put the Falcons on top by four. Richard soon caught up and pulled ahead and ultimately hung on for the 25-23 victory.
In the second set the Pioneers once again struck first, but this time the Falcons wouldn’t let them hold onto a lead for long, as they quickly caught up and matched them point for point.
As the score got into double digits, the Falcons pulled ahead by four, but the visitors hit back and in the end finished on top 26-24.
Both teams ran neck and neck to start off the third and were tied at 7-7. From that point, the momentum shifted to Divine Child and it began the comeback.
“We’re a really young team,” said Pioneers’ coach Fallon Mullins. “We really only had one type of offense tonight, where we were pushing the ball to the outside, and it became too repetitive.”
By the middle of the third set, the Falcons were able to anticipate the Pioneers’ moves, and with defensive digs between Rachel Radwan and Hejka, along with kills from Kayla Moss, Allie Filiatraut and Courtney Dolkowski, the hosts easily defeated the Pioneers in sets three and four, setting things up for a final showdown in set five.
Divine Child’s student section was on their feet as their team took a 5-0 lead right away in set five, but the Pioneers, realizing it was now or never, fought back and tied things up at 10 points apiece. The Falcons only allowed one more point and went on to the 15-11 set win and 3-2 match victory.
The Pioneers went on to suffer a 3-1 defeat on Tuesday at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes and were set to be in action again on Thursday at Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
On Wednesday, the Falcons will travel to Bloomfield Hills to take on the Mustangs of Marian.