As Bethel volleyball coach Lauren Siebenaller walked out of the locker room, her emotions from what just took place was evident. She knows a great chance for the Bees had just slipped away.
It was a rollercoaster of events that started out as Covington looking like they would sweep the Bees, then Bethel battled back to send the series to a fifth and deciding game.
Bethel trailed in game five 11-6 before fighting back to tie the game at 11, which then was followed by four more ties with the last one being 14-14. Covington then wrapped up the marathon match with a 26-24, 25-16, 18-25, 25-21, 17-15 win, sending the Bees down to their fourth loss on the young season.
“We had a game yesterday and we played terrible, and I really wasn’t sure how we were going to come out and play today,” Siebenaller said. “The girls came into the game two hours early to work on things, we controlled our energy, and I am so proud of how they have grown from last year in terms of our mental toughness and our ability to bounce back.
Covington survived a tough opening game for a 26-24 win despite a solid game serving from Bethel’s Conner Heck who put the Bees up early. Also scoring multiple points at the line were Sophia Yarwick and Jackie Ontiveros as the Bees battled. The first game was a good indication of what to expect as there were 13 ties in the game. Bethel’s last lead was 23-22 before the Buccs pulled out the win.
Covington rolled through game two before the Bees bounced back in game three behind a balanced
attack and solid net play. Bethel then headed to game four needing a win to stay alive.
“In the first two games, we made a lot of errors that gave them a lot of easy points,” Siebenaller said. “It was flip flopped in the next two sets.”
In the fourth game, the Bees used a big surge at the net by Alaina Hawthorn with three consecutive kills to break open a 9-9 tie and Bethel survived down the stretch for a win to set up the deciding game.
The Bees fell behind 11-6 in the final game before storming back. They tied the game at 11, and it was back and forth until it was 15-15. Covington then scored the final two points of the game and got the win.
“I told them to stay calm and fight back,” Siebenaller said after they were down 11-6 in the final set. I think we got nervous.”
“This wasn’t our normal lineup and I am very excited how our backup setter handled things tonight”.
*Also last week, Bethel was defeated by Greeneview, 25-15, 25-22, 25-8. Hawthorn led the way with 8 kills and 7 digs. Junior Connor Heck had 12 assists.