Michelle Osmer has no problem admitting she didn't like her team's chances heading into the fifth game against Golden Valley on Wednesday night.
Osmer had watched Buhach Colony cough up a two-game lead for the second straight time to GV.
"No, I was ready to throw in the towel," Osmer said. "That's how frustrated I was. We weren't even willing to give Golden Valley a game."
Fortunately for BC, there were no towels in Osmer's vicinity.
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Buhach Colony bounced back in the fifth game to win a crucial 25-22, 26-24, 19-25, 17-25, 15-7 victory and stay tied atop the Central California Conference standings with Pitman at 7-2.
"I think we woke up," Osmer said. "We just needed a spark from someone. Sarah (Bell) blocked one at the net and that led to two or three big points and we got pumped up."
After sleepwalking through the third and fourth games, Buhach Colony dominated the fifth game down the stretch, scoring seven straight points to open up a 14-5 lead.
"That was one of our biggest wins so far," said BC sophomore Rachel Andrews, who finished with 17 kills and three blocks. "We knew we could do it if we tried."
Meanwhile, it was a crushing loss for Golden Valley. After starting 5-0 in the CCC, GV has lost three of its last four.
"We told the girls at the beginning of the season that 12-3 will probably be good enough to win league," Golden Valley coach Matt Thissen said. "We've got our three losses. Now we have to take care of business."
That's exactly what Buhach Colony did in the first two games.
Osmer's girls used a 10-0 run midway through the first game to open up a 17-8 lead.
Jenna Fournier came up with a couple kills during that stretch.
Golden Valley closed the deficit to 23-22, before BC closed out the game with the final two points, including an ace from Aly Sherman (14 kills).
Golden Valley seemed in control of the second game, but costly errors down the stretch had BC with a cozy 2-0 advantage.
"We should have taken that second game," Thissen said. "But to Buhach's credit, they stayed in it and snuck one away from us."
Two-game deficits aren't anything new for Golden Valley, which came back to win the final three games at Buhach Colony a couple weeks ago.
Golden Valley took control at the net in the third and fourth games.
Freshman Ganessa Watson played big with 12 kills. Reina Sykes added 17 kills and eight blocks. Kat Blake chipped in with 12 kills.
Golden Valley seemed like it was in cruise control, easily winning games three and four to even things up at two games apiece.
That's why Osmer was so pessimistic heading in the final game.
Things looked even worse for Buhach Colony when setter Kaitlyn Ryan left the match with an injured arm with the score tied at 4-4 in the fifth game.
However, Lauren Morris came in and came up with some big plays.
Sykes blasted a shot that Morris dug out and the ball sailed over the net for a point that gave Buhach Colony a 7-4 lead.
After Sykes answered with a kill, Bell came up with her key block and Buhach Colony ran off the next seven points to extend the lead to 14-5.
"I thought we lost our aggressiveness," Thissen said. "We started playing not to lose instead of playing to win. You can't play that way against a team who relies on ball control.
"Our defense starts with our block. We work hard on our blocking, and in that fifth game our block wasn't there when we needed it."
Osmer couldn't help but be impressed with her team's sudden turnaround. Especially considering they were dealing with a loud GV student section on the road.
"How hard is that to do?" Osmer said. "That's amazing. It goes to show you anything is possible."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.