Columbia High took its best shot at pushing Castle Rock past three sets in set two of last Thursday's Trico Division encounter in Miller Memorial Gym.
The Bruins rallied from an 11-9 deficit--thanks to three unforced Rockets errors--to retake the lead at 12-11. It eventually pushed out to a 19-15 lead, with a kill by Ericka Ziegler.
But the division-leading Rockets regrouped, capping a five-point run with a kill that put them ahead 20-19.
Columbia hung tough, however, knotting the score at 20 (on a scoring block by Ziegler) and again at 21.
But Castle Rock quickly recaptured the momentum, dinking the ball into a hole in the middle the CHS defense for a 22-21 edge. The Rockets finished off the Bruins by scoring three of the final four points to gain a 2-0 lead in the match.
All told, the second set featured six service errors in the first 11 points, eight ties and eight lead changes
The first set had four ties, the last coming at 8-8 on a kill by CHS's Chrissy Duniphin.
Castle Rock took control after that point, getting two kills and two service aces to extend its lead to 13-9.
A kill by Katherine Mosbrucker (13-10) and a scoring block by Kristie Morris (14-11) kept the Bruins close, but the Rockets weren't to be deterred.
They went on a six-point run to push their lead to 20-11. A pair of kills by Ziegler broke their streak, but they started another soon enough to close out the 25-13 win with a five-point spree.
The Bruins enjoyed a 4-2 lead early in the third set, but lost five straight points to fall behind, 7-4.
They subsequently rallied to tie the set at 12-all, only to see the Rockets win the next eight points (the last two in the run coming on service aces).
Castle Rock completed the sweep by winning the third set, 25-17.
"Although we lost in three straight, we played our best voleyball of the season against one of the top teams in the league," Bruins Coach Kevin Liddiard said. "Our passing, serving and hitting have really improved in the last two weeks, as well as the [quality of] overall team play."
Castle Rock also won the junior varsity preliminary, 25-10, 27-25, 15-8.
At Trout Lake/Glenwood 3, Columbia High 1:
The Bruins came from behind to win the third set, 27-25, and extend the Sept. 26 non-league match to a fourth.
Columbia lost the first two sets, 25-14, 25-20, but wasn't to be denied in the third.
"It was match point, 24-22, and we rallied to win the game, 27-25," Bruins Coach Kevin Liddiard said. "We showed a lot of heart and mental toughness."
In jayvee action, CHS prevailed, 25-10, 25-20, 9-15.