Carroll rallies to knock off Rocky Mountain in semis
LEWISTON, Idaho - Momentum can be a strange and fickle
thing. One minute you have it and the next minute you're
stuck trying to figure out what went wrong.
"Momentum can be funny thing, but once you have it you
just have to roll it with," Carroll volleyball coach
Maureen Boyle said. "And roll with it for as long as you
The Saints did just that and advanced to the
championship match of the Frontier Conference Tournament
on Saturday at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity
Starring straight at what appeared to be the end of the
season, the Saints fought back after losing the first
two sets to Rocky Mountain to defeat the No. 18-ranked
Bears 11-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 15-10 in the
tournament semifinals. The win lifts the Saints to 22-10
and into Saturday night's title match with host and top
seed Lewis-Clark State.
"Guts," Boyle said about the key to the comeback. "It
really was. We have played in so many five-set matches
this season that we're used to them. We've won the first
two and then lost the next three, or lost the first two
and come back. I think that really helped prepare us for
this and we played with a lot of guts."
RMC, the No. 2 seed, falls to 22-7 and must now wait
until the final NAIA poll and at-large berths are
awarded to find out if it gets to continue its season.
Saturday's loss will likely mean the Bears will drop
some spots in the poll so their postseason hope will
rely on the number of upsets in other conference
tournaments across the NAIA.
The Bears certainly didn't look like they would be in
this situation after the first two sets. RMC dominated
play early by opening up a 7-1 lead and cruising to the
first set win.
RMC trailed 19-16 in the second set and then fought off
three set points to claim the second set.
It appeared the Bears were going to rally to win the
third set as well. Trailing 20-13, the Bears rallied to
within 23-22 and 24-23, but Carroll answered each threat
with a critical point to get the win. From that point,
it was, as Boyle put it, just a matter of rolling with
Carroll jumped out to a 10-2 advantage in the fourth
set, but again Rocky rallied to tie it at 16. Carroll's
front line then came through with some huge blocks to
put the Saints up 23-18. The two then exchanged points
before the Saints closed out the match and force a fifth
The Saints again got the early jump and took an 8-3
lead. RMC twice cut the margin to one point at 9-8 and
10-9, but the Saints again came up big at the net and
scored the next five points for a 14-9 lead. Carroll
then closed out the match on a kill by Haylee Otteson.
Otteson led the Saints with 16 kills, while Kayla Hughes
added 14. Caitlin Tocci had 27 assists and 13 digs.
RMC was paced by Sara Brunner's 16 kills, 27 digs,
and two aces, while Jessica Overstreet had 13 kills and
11 digs. Jillian Bates added 12 kills and Ashley Welborn
added 11 kills.
For the match, RMC hit .196, while Carroll hit .163. RMC
also had a 105-90 advantage in digs, while both teams
finished with nine bocks.
The two teams split during the regular season with each
visiting team capturing the win.