WASHINGTON TERRACE — Sydnee Smith curled a serve to the left side of the net. It hit the net chord, popped up and rolled over for an ace.
Her sheepish smile said it all as her Bonneville volleyball teammates embraced her after winning that point. It was plenty par for the course, the way the Lakers were playing at that moment early in the third set.
The Lakers’ joy experienced Thursday night in getting their first win of the season was compounded by the fact it was a four-set region win against Ogden, 22-25, 25-17, 25-12, 25-10.
The win acted as sort of a breath of relief. The Lakers (1-3, 1-1 Region 11) return most of their team from last year and are expected by some to contend for a high playoff spot. But until Thursday, things weren’t going well after an 0-3 start.
“When we play Ogden, it’s totally mental and I think once we got our heads in the game and started playing the way we know how to play, we dominated,” Bonneville outside hitter Avery Hall said.
Ogden’s serve threw Bonneville out of order and prevented the Lakers from getting a lot of clean looks. That, a boat load of Bonneville errors plus good hitting by Makin Clarke and Alayna Brown brought Ogden (1-4, 0-3 Region 11) a close victory in the first set.
The story was the same midway through the second set. The Tigers had a 13-9 lead and a 15-11 lead before everything turned on its head.
“I told them you can win, you have my permission to win, because it seemed like they were just out there just playing,” Bonneville head coach Angie Williams said.
Bonneville won eight straight points and finished the set on a 14-2 run. Then the Lakers were rolling.
Hall started hitting corners of the court like they were going out of style. The Lakers’ serving, like Ogden’s in the first set-and-a-half, prevented the Tigers from stringing passes together.
Lakers win the 3rd set 25-12. pic.twitter.com/6SQvqRv7g7— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) September 7, 2018
Laker hitters were going right through Ogden’s blockers. In turn, Mikayla Buckway, Kelsie Heslop and Hailee Spencer stuffed a lot of the Tigers’ hit attempts in the last three sets.
It wasn’t a rousing speech or a certain play that got Bonneville going.
“As soon as we started getting our hits in, we were a whole different team,” Hall said.
By the time Smith hit her net chord ace, it was 8-2 Bonneville in the third set and the Lakers cruised the rest of the match.
The only thing ever in doubt in the third set was if the scoreboard showed the correct score, which both coaches and a couple of fans vocally pointed out.
25-10, Bonneville wins in 4 sets. pic.twitter.com/NQ18ksFAwC— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) September 7, 2018
Lakers’ sophomore setter Halle Morgan picked up 23 assists and senior libero Avery Best picked up 26 digs.
The win came not a moment too soon: the Lakers have another rivalry game on Tuesday at Ben Lomond before they host region and 4A state favorite Park City on Thursday.
Kate Lowry led the Tigers with seven kills, Mollie Bushell picked up 21 digs and setter Rachael Davis dished out 22 assists.