Rebels outlast Hurricanes in five-game showdown

Published 10:36 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

ADAMS – The Southland volleyball team was a little shorthanded, but it put together a marathon effort to beat Houston by scores of 27-25, 22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 17-15 to close out its regular season Monday.

The Hurricanes (4-14 overall) had a chance to take the match as they held a 15-14 lead in the final game, but Southland’s Hattie Wiste had a big kill to tie it at 15, and the Rebels took the match by scoring the last two points.

Bailey Johnson had kills to tie the final game at 10-10 and to give Southland a 12-11 lead, finishing the match with 19 kills and 19 digs, despite rolling her ankle early in the match.

We always take it one point at a time,” Johnson said. “If you make a mistake, you’ve got to come back and play for the next point. When you go into extra points and you let a mistake dwell on you, it could lose you the game. You need to stay positive and work through your mistakes. It meant so much to win. Knowing this is my last game here, it was a hard goodbye.”

Wiste also had a big kill in the first game at 25-25 and Johnson had a key back-line hit that tied the third game at 24. The Rebels (7-14 overall) won both of those games in a night that was full of ups and downs.

Southland was playing the match without two regular players as eighth-grader Shannon Kiefer and sophomore Jesse Hanson stepped into the lineup. Kiefer had six kills in her first big varsity action.

“Our two new subs were standouts and they came ready to play,” Southland head coach Michelle Nelsen said. “Shannon’s emotional intelligence and her capacity to play at this level is really strong. She was definitely tested tonight and she proved herself.”

Although it turned out to be a wild ride, Nelsen liked what her team showed in the face of adversity.

“That injury to Bailey was worrisome for us because we never know what’s going to happen when someone has an injury. She was able to come back and in the clutch we were able to pull through and that’s what matters,” Nelsen said.

Wiste finished with 12 kills and 29 digs for Southland and Nora Schmitz added 32 digs.

Southland stats: Maddy Bhend 25 assists; Bailey Johnson 19 kills, 19 digs, 1.5 blocks, 2 aces; Bria Nelsen 17 assists; Nora Schmitz 32 digs; Hattie Wiste 12 kills, 29 digs; Shannon Kiefer 6 kills.