Huge comeback in Paso Robles

Hounds rally from 2-0 down to beat Bearcats

PASO ROBLES — The Atascadero Greyhounds (21-9) traveled to Paso Robles (4-16) for their second game against the Bearcats this season after defeating them in four games on Sept. 6 and the two rivals clashed late into the night as the Hounds came charging back from 2-0 to win in five sets 3-2.

The Hounds, fresh off a tournament win over the weekend in the Fresno-Sunnyside Tournament where after dropping their first game won five straight, looked like they had just played six games over the weekend as the Bearcats controlled much of the first game. Atascadero never led in the first game, talked to each other very little and played without much emotion.

“We were lacking confidence in our skills because we were making mistakes and it just wasn’t going our way,” Atascadero senior Hannah Hagy said.

Atascadero came out with a lead in the second game, but Paso tied it up 11, took the lead at 12 and never gave it back.

“Well, we were all kind of tired, we did just have that big tournament where we got first place, actually,” AHS senior Natalie DeRose said with a smile. “And it was just a little exhausting and, I mean, we did need to wake up but it took two games but we pushed through and kept up our energy.”

Now down 2-0, the Hounds began celebrating each converted point with passion, diving across the floor and getting up for big momentum swinging blocks. Greyhounds senior Stephanie Monson set her career high in blocks on Tuesday night by recording nine, many of which came at crucial times in games when only a point separated the two teams.

The Hounds won the third game, 25-22, earning a second shot at a win or go home game against the Bearcats.

“I feel like we realized we had one game left and we couldn’t lose that game because then it would be over,” Hagy said of what helped the Hounds flip a switch.

The student section would go into a frenzy every time the Bearcats would score and had a game going with the Atascadero players.

“I am kind of used to it, so I kind of ignore their little, ‘bounce bounce’ comments and I didn’t bounce the ball because it would piss them off,” DeRose said following the game. Monson was not the only Hound to set a career high in the comeback victory, DeRose finished the evening with a new high of 40 digs.

The Bearcats had a late lead in both game three and game four but both times the Hounds were able to hold off defeat and force another game as they won game four 25-19 after trailing 10-5 and 16-13.

Monson took over in the fifth and final set recording a huge block and scoring multiple points by placing the ball just over the Bearcats’ defense and out of the reach of the girls in the back row. A vicious Hagy kill for the 14th point quieted the home section of the crowd as the Atascadero faithful began to fill the area with cheers of their own. The game ended on the next point as Monson floated a serve over the net and two Bearcat players looked at each other as it hit the ground between them. Atascadero won the game 19-25, 15-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-11.

Photos contributed by Tamara Wright


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