HELENA -- On Saturday, the Helena Capital Bruins snagged a win over their rivals, the Helena High Bengals, 3-1. Even though the Bengals recorded a notch in Capital's loss column, they tested the Bruins' resolve, something they haven't seen much of over the course of this season. Following the match, senior outside hitter Sarah Ashley was proud of the way the Bruins regrouped in the match up to pick another win.
"We learned a lot about ourselves [Saturday] and we really over came it," said Ashley. "It's good to have those matches and it's good to learn about yourself, and we still came out with the win. There's a lot of things we can improve on, but we're still winning."
Before the game, it's customary for a coach or a team captain to give a pre-game speech. Some take shots at the opposition, some focus on how a team needs to play, but Helena Capital head coach Rebecca Cleveland took a different route. She gave her players some food for thought before the match.
"Our pre-game talk was about the power of a wave," said Cleveland. "How the wave is calm underneath, so calm on the inside, but is a force to reckoned with on the outside. So being composed, but aggressive in our play."
The talk seems like it got through. After the Bruins grinded through a tough second set, only to fall 27-25, they regained that composure and attacked the Bengals to win the final two sets and the match.
The Bengals' head coach Lindsey Day said she saw her team lose focus late in the match, but expects them to rebound from the loss in a big way before both teams step foot on the court for their rematch.
"They're a gritty team, they have a lot of fight in them and they want to win, they want success," said Day. "I know that this is going to make them hungry to keep improving and keep getting better. Capital has a way of making teams struggle and scramble, and they did that to us."
The Bengals will look to settle the score when they travel to Helena Capital to face the Bruins on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.
The two teams remain atop the Class AA volleyball coaches' poll, though Helena is tied for second with Great Falls CMR. The poll can be viewed by clicking here.