The Philomath High School volleyball team rallied to force a fifth set and came through late to win a marathon match Thursday evening over Sweet Home, 21-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-14 and 17-15.
The Warriors improved to 3-1 in the Oregon West Conference and are currently tied with Stayton for second place. Those two teams will square off this coming Tuesday at Stayton. Overall, Philomath has a 6-3 record.
Sweet Home (6-9 overall, 1-3 Oregon West) opened the match by taking the first set, 25-21, but the Warriors were showing signs of finding their rhythm. Philomath trailed 18-10 at one point in the set.
“In Set 2, we found our groove and everything was clicking,” Hilberg said.
The Warriors took the second by a 25-14 margin in a set that included long scoring runs with Shaylee May and Ahinka Tryon serving.
Sweet Home built a big lead early in the third set and the Warriors were not able to climb out of the hole in what ended up as 25-22. Then in the fourth, Philomath had early success and rolled, 25-14, to force the fifth set.
Philomath went up 6-2 out of the gate in the final set before the Huskies rallied to tie it, 7-7. Philomath had a 13-11 edge later on but Sweet Home again came back.
“Tied at 15, we won a scrappy play and an overpass kill ended the game for us,” Hilberg said.
Hilberg said she was proud of her team.
“This was the best they played all season and they fought to the end,” she said. “The players on the bench were on fire and the whole team played each point until the end.”
On the stat sheet, junior libero Madison Provance had 34 digs and a 2.3 serve-receive rating. At the net, seniors Ahnika Tryon and Madison Juhl each had three blocks. Junior setter Ashleigh Brown finished with 44 of the team’s 53 assists. Senior Clara Stanley and freshman Nora Stanley each had 17 kills. May had three ace serves.
Philomath will next head to the Mt. Hood Invitational Saturday at Barlow High School. Opponents include Ridgeview (9:15 a.m.), The Dalles (11:45 a.m.), Barlow (2:15 p.m.) and McKay (4:45 p.m.).