It could have gone either way, but the law of averages caught up to the Three Rivers volleyball team Tuesday in a five-set loss to Berrien Springs in the Class B regional semifinals at Plainwell.
The Wildcats regrouped after a 25-20 loss in the opening game with a 25-19 victory in the second. Berrien Springs came right back with a 25-22 victory. But like Three Rivers had done all year, especially in its three previous matches against the Shamrocks this season (two wins), it kept getting off the mat, this time with a come-from-behind, 28-26 win in the fourth set.
But the Wildcats couldn’t hold a 10-8 lead in the fifth and dropped the final set, 15-13, ending the season with a 44-8-6 record.
Berrien Springs (43-7-1) moves on to Thursday’s finals against Battle Creek Harper Creek, which also won a five-setter against Plainwell.
The Shamrocks’ Holly Toliver, a hitter bound for Michigan State next year, registered 45 kills and 14 blocks. Carly Nichols led Three Rivers with 17 kills, followed by Teagan Reeves (15), who will suit up for Western Michigan next season. Hannah Landis added 15 digs for the Wildcats.
Three Rivers coach Brandy Stalhood could not be immediately reached for comment. She told MLive.com following the match that “we had been down so many times this year; these kids will fight through anything.” She added: “Obviously, you can see that from being down many times tonight. We keep fighting.”
Photo gallery by Janie Reeves