ARVADA - Home court advantage might have played the deciding factor in a dramatic five-set 5A division victory by Pomona volleyball over Bear Creek Thursday at Pomona High School, Sept. 19.
The Panthers were able to outlast the Bears (25-22, 21-25, 13-25, 26-24, 15-5).
“This was an important win for us, they are all important from this point on now that we are in the middle of league play,” Pomona coach Leilani Luke said.
After getting pushed to the brink, down two sets to one, Pomona finally caught fire in the third set winning 15-5 with the help of solid defense led by sophomore’s Julia Baskin and Syd McCoy.
But Pomona was close to not getting a chance to play a fifth set for the win.
Up 9-3 in the fourth set, Pomona let Bear Creek back into contention with multiple errors allowing the Bears to nearly steal the set behind solid all around play by senior Courtney O’Gane.
O’Gane and fellow senior Marie Molher were nearly able to push Bear Creek to a four-set win, but they couldn’t seal the deal and lost the fourth, 24-26.
And despite brilliant play at times by Lakewood sophomore Kendall Stillwell, Pomona, with the help of its home crowd, went on to eventually win the match.
“That was our opportunity. We could have gone home with a win if we could have got it done in the fourth set,” Bear Creek coach David Youngblood said.
Pomona would take the momentum from an emotional fourth set and use it to finish off the Bears in style as junior Marissa Shjandemaar dictated the action routinely setting her teammates up.
Shjandemaar was tabbed as the player of the match by coach Luke for “commanding control of the court with her great decision making and allowing her teammates to be creative and effective with their attacks.”
The Panthers will try and continue to build off their fast start to the season winning five of their first six matches.
Pomona (6-3, 1-0) will play at Columbine Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Bear Creek (4-5, 0-1), who has shown flashes of being one of the better teams in the league will need to try and find some consistency moving forward.
The Bears will host Arvada West Friday at 6:30 p.m.