By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Canyon Cowboys’ (8-10, 3-5) matchup against the Golden Valley Grizzlies (3-13, 0-7) came down to the wire as the match went to five sets on Thursday. The two-and-a-half-hour match, with virtually each set going the distance, showed the poise of both teams, but the Cowboys prevailed in the end (27-29, 25-13, 28-30, 25-23, 15-8).
Despite being down 16-5 in the third set, the Cowboys made a huge rally before losing the set 30-28. Grizzlies head coach Sean Parchejo saw a lot of positives in the match despite the loss, and believes fixing holes in their rotation will be the answer to win their next match.
“I need to work on our balance, that’s why we lost some sets,” said Parchejo. “They exploited our weaknesses in our rotation so hats off to them, but now is my part of the season to trust the athletes and their training. If they continue to work hard and believe in themselves, we’ll be great.”
Kylie Mcintosh led the team with 12 kills. Megan Moreno Anaiah Bailey and Rosita Genero each followed with 10 kills apiece. Miranda Dahl led the team with four blocks. Rhienna Mayayo led the team with 20 digs.
Despite those numbers, the Cowboys won the matchup by closing out the final two sets in what was a seesaw of events with each team winning one set at a time until the very end. Cowboys head coach Samantha Holcombe had to go through multiple different hitters, but felt coming out on top of the match was due to figuring out what worked best for them.
“We found a way to score points by making adjustments,” said Holcombe. “Even though we lost the third set (after being down 16-5), it motivated the team for the rest of the game. We just need to keep appreciating when we put up points, takeaway wins and be happy when we excel.”
The Cowboys were led by Nia Marshall, who led all players with 17 kills while also contributing 11 digs. Emily Guluzza finished second on the team with 11 kills and 12 digs. Mea Acevedo finished the match with eight digs and one ace.
“I saw a lot of energy and a lot of good spirit out there,” said Acevedo when asked about the comeback. “There were a lot of mixed emotions and excitement. Since it took us five sets to win the match, we know what we are capable of doing.”