TRI CITY — When Douglas High fell behind two sets to one, there was no panic among the veteran-laden Trojans.
There wasn’t any anger, either. They smiled. They embraced the pressure, and they swept the final two sets to steal a five-set victory over South Umpqua Tuesday night in the Far West League match.
Set scores were 29-27, 23-25, 10-25, 25-15, 15-7.
“Win lose or draw, that kind of volleyball is exciting,” DHS coach Carl Bone said. “I’m just so proud of our girls. It would have been so easy to fall apart after that third game, and they came back and fought hard.”
Douglas (3-3, 2-1 FWL) had no time to mourn the third set loss and the Trojans wasted no time doing so. They regrouped and attacked the Lancers (1-6, 0-3).
“We kind of had to pick each other up,” senior middle blocker Rachel Hickam said. “If one of us got down, we had to lift them up. ... We had to encourage each other more than get angry or upset. If we lose a set, we just put it behind us. We look forward to what’s in front of us rather than what’s behind us, because we just have to push forward and not have a bad face.”
So the Trojans jumped out early in the fourth set, built a big lead, and played sideout-plus the rest of the set.
“We had more energy in the fourth set than in the third,” said senior middle blocker Darian Mitchell. “We stayed positive. We were not consistent in the third set. We just had everyone play consistent and have fun.”
The Trojans middles led the way — Mitchell had 19 kills and three blocks and Hickam had 11 kills and three blocks — and their senior-laden roster boasted a level of experience the Lancers couldn’t match.
Of Douglas’ 60 kills in the match, 51 were recorded by seniors. Junior Calyissa Anderson had seven kills and sophomore Madison Fouts had two.
Defensively, the numbers were similar. Anderson, sophomore libero Maddyson Wisby and Fouts combined for 35 of the Trojans’ 151 digs.
South Umpqua didn’t have that big group of seniors to rely upon. The Lancers have just two seniors on the roster, and just one junior. They’re a young team trying to find their way and unlike the Trojans, don’t have much experience in five-set matches.
“South Umpqua is going to knock somebody off, they have a good team,” Bone said. “And they’re really young, so they’re going to get better. They did a good job, I’m just really proud of our girls. We got the momentum going into that last game.”
Senior Emma Lind led the Lancers with 15 kills and 21 digs, while freshman Shalyn Gray had 10 kills and 29 digs and sophomores Kalie Mann and Sydnie Johnson both delivered big performances. Johnson had 31 assists and 16 digs and Mann had 12 digs, 10 kills and a match-high four blocks.
It was S.U.’s second five-set loss in FWL play and came right after they saw the junior varsity go five sets with Douglas.
The Lancers host Marshfield (6-7, 2-1) on Thursday, while the Trojans face league-leading Siuslaw (5-4, 3-0) in Florence.