The No. 7 Bruins look sluggish and error prone against the No. 16 Cardinals who do not look much better. Salt Lake Community College wins in four sets to stave off what could have been a devastating fifth set (18 – 25, 25 – 23, 25 – 23, 27 – 25).
The Bruins are now 15 and 5 on the season and undefeated (3-0) in conference play. Their next six games are at home starting with tilts against Utah State University – Eastern on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., Colorado Northwestern on Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. and Western Wyoming Community College on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
The Bruins kept the game close with the score tied at 9, but the team looked tired and out of synch in the first set. Northern Idaho College went ahead by three at 10 – 13 on an ace, but SLCC was able to pull to within one on a point down the line by Carol Grasso. That is the closest that the Bruins would get as the Cardinals reeled off the next five points. Grasso and Jillian Campbell had scores that made it 14 – 18, but SLCC couldn’t shake the malaise and lost the set 18 – 25.
The Bruins continued to play down to the competition as the teams exchanged service errors to open the match. A Bailee Kendall kill to make the score 10 – 6 looked like it might inspire the Bruins, but the Cardinals wouldn’t go away even when a Bruin block at the net made the score 12 – 7 and a play out of bounds by the Cardinals gave the Bruins a 13 – 7 lead. A hit into the net and two miscues by the Bruins brought the score to 15 – 12. The two teams exchanged service errors to bring the game to 16 – 13.
The Cardinals kept coming and tied the score at 20 after a Bruin timeout. Kendall delivered two consecutive kills, and a double hit on the Cardinals made the score 23 – 20. Katie Schueman blocked Kendall at the net and negated Indigo Allen’s hustle with another block on the next play. A third Cardinal block tied the score at 23. SLCC was gifted the next two points as the Cardinals appeared to run out of heroics.
The Bruins finally decided to come out of hibernation as they sprinted out to a 4 – 0 lead. Two Bruin errors slowed the carnage, but SLCC reeled off another four points, and a Kendall kill made it 9 – 3. The teams continued to score points for each other with ill-timed net serves and miscommunications. The Cardinals finally looked to stymie the Bruins after a long rally, which resulted in a Cardinal point.
The score was 17 – 14, and Kendall somehow got a bloody nose. She took care of the problem and stayed on the court as Sequoia Lofton’s soft hitting gave SLCC a four point lead at 18 – 14. The Bruins fell apart as the Cardinals scored the next five points to take the lead at 18 – 19. Grasso’s play tied it at 19, and the Cardinals scored the next two points.
The Bruins were able to tie it at 23 when Grasso laid out on the floor to dig the ball and then received the set to finish the play with a kill shot. That was the play of the game, but not the only amazing thing Grasso did on the court against the Cardinals. SLCC won the set 25 – 23.
The Bruins couldn’t gain any ground on the Cardinals as they were tied at 11 and Schueman scored the next two points. Grasso had a block and a spike in the next exchange that made the score 12 – 13, and Kendall had an uncharacteristic tap over the net to tie it up at 13. Kendall’s play was smart because it seemed as if the Cardinals frontline had the Bruins’ number the entire game.
The Cardinals couldn’t pull away in spite of errors by the Bruins that made the score 15 – 18. The game was tied at 20 and 21. The Cardinals then scored the next three points to make it 21 – 24. Grasso scored the next two points, one on a service ace to bring the Bruins to 23 – 24. The Bruins were able to tie the score at 24 and take the lead on a Lofton score. The Cardinals tied the score at 25, but SLCC was able to get the serve back and finish the game with a block by Kendall.
See what you missed with full game video of SLCC vs. NIC