It took the Badgers five sets, but they finally put the Kellogg Wildcats away after a spirited battle Tuesday.
The Badgers came out firing and took the first set with a score of 25-19. Kills from Kendra Merritt, Savannah Woods, McKenzie MacDonald, and two from Ally Merrifield got Bonners Ferry off to a good start.
The Wildcats would make things interesting, taking the second set by a score of 25-17. In response, the Badgers roared back in the third set scoring five points before Kellogg even got on the board. Bonners Ferry would fall behind, before riding three key consecutive plays to come charging back. Woods recorded a kill, Emma Kelly served up an ace, and Merrifield chalked up another kill to tie the game at 14 all. From there the Badgers would not look back and they took the set 20-25.
The momentum seemed to be all in Bonners Ferry’s favor until the Wildcats stunned the Badgers in the fourth set with a 25-10 rout. Communication broke down for the home team and they struggled to effectively pass the ball. Mental errors resulted in an excessive round of double hits and net violations.
The Badgers needed to dig deep to bounce back from that tough loss, but that is just what they did.
“Our team needed a big boost and we worked together really good today,” said senior Ally Merrifield, who contributed 20 digs and 3 kills. “I really, really wanted to win a league game against a rivalry.” It was that desire the fueled the boost to put the Badgers over the top with a fifth set 15-8 victory.
It is worth noting that Bonners Ferry is a young team with limited experience, but the two seniors Merrifield and Brianna Cook, provided all the leadership they needed to battle through their mistakes and put a league win in the books.
Blocks: Kendra Merritt (3); assists, Savannah Woods (10); kills: Jailee Foster (4); digs: Desirae Minor (21).