CORVALLIS — Up two sets to none, the Corvallis volleyball team appeared to be in cruise control.
But after a punch in the gut from the Frenchtown Broncs in the third set, the Blue Devils showed why they're the reigning Class A state champions and that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
Corvallis rallied down 17-5 in the third set to win 25-21 to sweep Frenchtown 3-0 on Thursday night in Corvallis. The Broncs won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-14.
"We put up a really awesome battle, a really awesome fight. Really proud of my girls, lots of great things that we saw out there," Frenchtown head coach Morgan Job said. "It’s amazing to be able to play a great team, come here and just see where we match up and see what we have to work on. It’s nice to have this early on. We have to get back in the gym and keep working, but that’s what’s great about doing it early."
The first set was a back-and-forth affair. After Frenchtown tied it 8-8 after a block from Demi Smith, the Blue Devils took control and eventually grabbed an 18-10 lead. However, Frenchtown rallied back furiously to tie it 23-23, but the Blue Devils ultimately closed the set out.
Corvallis dominated the second set, leading 23-7 at one point after an ace from Katelyn Behner.
However, the the third set showed the mettle of the defending champions. Frenchtown came out of the gates hot, leading 8-1 and eventually 17-5 after an ace from Emily Rehbein.
But Corvallis shook off that slow start and rallied. Back-to-back aces from Brooke Powell tied it 21-21, and the Blue Devils closed the game out with a kill from Madeline Gilder.
"We just had to stay super determined and every point that we lost we’re like, 'OK, this one’s the next one, we’re going to keep pushing,' and when I went back to serve and whenever I was at the net I was like, 'I’m getting this block and I’m getting this serve in,'" Corvallis senior middle blocker Jenna Jordan said. "Just stayed really focused and determined."
"Being determined and being disciplined is definitely one of the themes this year and we talk about being that no matter the score so whether we’re behind or ahead," Corvallis head coach Laurie Jones added. "It’s easy to play good when you’re ahead, it’s harder to play, especially when you’re that far behind, so the fact that they actually walked the walk and executed that, that’s fun, that was good to see."
Corvallis improves to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Southwest A play while Frenchtown falls to 3-2 and 3-1. Powell and Behner each finished with three aces for Corvallis while Gilder had 14 kills. Jordan added five blocks while Powell tallied 24 assists.
Shelby Smith led Frenchtown with five kills and Smith added six blocks for the Broncs.