CHEYENNE – Maggie Hokanson called timeout with her Cheyenne Central volleyball team trailing Cheyenne South late in the second game Thursday night.
Whatever the third-year coach said to her ballclub worked.
The No. 2-ranked Indians rallied to win that set during a 25-19, 27-25, 26-24 victory at South.
“What we’re working on right now is playing one ball at a time and that the game isn’t over until it’s over,” Hokanson said. “We have really been stressing to the kids that just because they’re down doesn’t mean they’re out.
“All it takes to turn it around is one ball. This isn’t the first time we have been down, dug ourselves out of a hole and won. We have great character, and I think that’s going to be huge late in the season.”
South (3-9 overall, 0-1 Class 4A Southeast) held a 23-20 advantage in the second game when Hokanson called her timeout.
Senior Jordyn Ojeda notched a kill on the first point out of the timeout, and senior setter Jordan Harris dumped the ball to cut the lead to 23-22.
Central knotted the score before a hitting error gave the Bison game point at 24-23.
The Indians (10-4, 1-0) closed the game with a service ace by senior setter Olivia Bradley.
“We woke up at that moment and started working for each other,” said Central senior outside hitter Paige Blevins, who notched eight kills. “We were really encouraging each other, giving each other high fives and going after every ball no matter what,” Blevins said.
“We have had a hard time getting started all season, but we have been able to rally and pull wins out at the end.”
The Indians used a 6-0 run to grab a lead they never relinquished during the first game.
They ran their lead to as much as five points during the third game before South pulled ahead 18-16. The Bison fought off three match points before Central closed the match out with a 26-24 victory.
“We’re playing a lot of sophomores and freshmen, so this is part of the process,” South coach Anndee McKinney said. “Central has juniors and seniors who have played a lot longer and have been in those situations.
“Our kids fought. They didn’t just roll over. They fought hard, kept playing, kept pushing and kept being aggressive. That’s all I ask from them.”
Central senior Irelin Fagenbush recorded 23 digs to go with 12 kills. Harris dished out 27 assists and added seven digs. Bradley had 14 digs.
South seniors Kenzi Stensaas and Madisyn Mirich both finished with 14 kills. Sophomore setter Kiley Still dished out 36 assists, while senior libero Mariah Pena added 18 digs.
Central hosts Laramie (8-5, 1-0) at 6 p.m. tonight. South plays at Cheyenne East (4-9, 0-1) at 6 p.m.
Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.