I'm not sure if Madras junior Lauren Simmons contacted Pacific Power or not, but she was digging up just about everything, while her senior teammates Shani Rehwinkel, Laura Sullivan and Sarah Brown were hitting and blocking like gang busters Monday. The White Buffalo dome was rocking, thanks to one of the most thrilling volleyball matches MHS has hosted in a long time. Madras and La Salle were swinging away at each other during a five-game epic instant classic, and homecoming king Ryan Fine had the Spandex Spectators fired up in the stands in what felt more like a Class 4A playoff match than a regular season Tri-Valley Conference contest. Unfortunately, the White Buffalos were on the wrong end of the scoreboard in the end, but La Salle earned every point in a match that featured several amazing rallies where bodies were flying around like a Hollywood action movie. If you are a fan of volleyball and were unable to see the action Monday, you missed one of the most remarkable matches played this season. The tension in the gymnasium could be felt from the very first serve. La Salle was looking to keep its Tri-Valley Conference record perfect, while Madras was looking for redemption, having already lost to the Falcons in a five-game nail-biter earlier this season. It was very clear players on both sides of the net were not going to give anything away and girls were giving everything they had to make sure the volleyball did not touch the ground. On several occasions, MHS and LHS faithful marveled at how players saved points with a flying hand or diving dig. It was like a mirror was on the net as both squads look very similar. Each school featured strong net players and each had what looked more like a utility worker in the back row, who dug up kill attempt after kill attempt. For Madras, Simmons probably needed an ice bath after recording 32 digs, as every ball hit her way had hot sauce on it. Somehow La Salle found a way to win after falling behind 2-1 in the match. The Falcons trailed 14-11 in the fourth game, but gutted out a 25-20 victory. Then, the Falcons dug themselves a 10-4 deficit in the fifth game, but Madras was unable to put La Salle away in front of a rocking crowd that was as intense as the players on the court, feeding off the sensational play. Tears flooded the eyes of several White Buffalos after the match, while La Salle was overwhelmed with joy for pushing its TVC record to 6-0 for sole possession of first place. It was a match in which neither team deserved to lose. MHS was no less worthy of a team than La Salle, but the White Buffalos made just a few too many errors in crucial times during the match. Madras was considered to be a rebuilding team early in the season, but they've played La Salle tighter than any other TVC team thus far, proving that if they can learn from a playoff-like match Monday, they could potentially turn tears to cheers in the playoffs.
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