SPEARFISH — Spearfish overcame an early deficit and forced a decisive fifth game in Thursday’s varsity volleyball match against Hot Springs but could not close the deal.
Hot Springs won the decisive fifth game 15-5 to seal the victory. The Bison won the first two games 25-23 and 25-15, but Spearfish won the next two games 25-17 and 25-15 to force that fifth game.
Game five featured a pair of four-point runs that helped Hot Springs open an 11-3 lead. Spearfish got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
“Hot Springs got out to too big a lead, too fast,” Spearfish middle hitter Miranda Meeker said of the fifth game.
Meeker talked about the team mood before the third game. “We knew we didn’t play our best but could do better,” she said.
Spearfish used Erin Griffith’s serving ace to take an 8-7 lead in the third game. The Spartans held the upper hand the rest of the way.
Meeker served two aces as the Spartans took a 4-0 lead in the fourth game. Hot Springs kept the margin within 9-5, but Taylor Engesser’s serving helped Spearfish on a five-point run that extended the lead to 14-5. Hot Springs got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Meeker’s efforts included 12 attacking kills, four aces, and three blocks. Engesser finished with 30 set assists and 23 digs.
Kaitlyn Hinch contributed 10 kills and two blocks for Spearfish. Brianna Grout added two blocks.
“We were not really ready mentally,” Spearfish head coach Jayna Morrill said of the fifth game. She added the team did not stop Hot Springs scoring runs.
Morrill said the Spartans focused and got things done in the third and fourth games.
Spearfish started experimenting with different lineups after a 15-25, 11-25, 24-26 loss to Rapid City Stevens on Sept. 18. Morrill said the Spartans needed to make adjustments.
Sydney Sleep (back row), Shelby Dittman (hitting), and Grout (serving) earned Morrill’s praise for their efforts on Thursday.
Spearfish will travel to Sturgis on Saturday to face Huron. The match is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.