In NASCAR, it would be like a driver rallying from four laps down to win a race. In baseball, it would be the equivalent of a five-run ninth inning comeback.
What the Hiland Lady Hawks did in their three-game win over Sandy Valley Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Perry Reese Jr. Community Center was nothing short of spectacular.
After winning the first two games with ease by scores of 25-16 and 25-18, Hiland found itself trailing Sandy Valley by a 24-13 count, a margin that is nearly impossible to overcome considering the Cardinals were one point shy of salting away a game-three win.
How the Lady Hawks had gone from playing so well to the brink of being blown out in game three was certainly not what the Hiland coaching staff was looking for, but what happened after that was a true thing of beauty, at least if one is a Hiland fan.
Hiland showed some true grit, and began inching its way back into the game point-by-point.
Slowly at first, then with a much more urgent feel, the Lady Hawks found the guts to plug away, and 11 points later, they had miraculously tied the score at 24.
“To come back and win a game in that situation, that is almost unheard of,” said Hiland coach Adri Bryk. “It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in a game. Usually when you get to 24, you’re kind of relegated to the fact that you are going to play the next game. That wasn’t the case here. We just started scoring and kept coming. I give our girls a lot of credit because they never gave up when I am sure a lot of people did.”
Another odd part of the game was that Amada Yoder, who rarely serves, was left in to serve with the game seemingly in hand for the Cardinals. Yoder started a string of service perfection, her teammates began to collect points and things quickly got interesting.
When things finally got back to even, the two teams swapped points before Hiland took a one point lead at 27-26 then won it on Madison Yoder’s kill.
The 28-26 win gave Hiland the win and made for what had to be a long bus ride back to Magnolia for Sandy Valley.
For Hiland, it marks another step in the progress of a young team that seems to get better every day.
“We’re getting there,” Bryk said of her team, which has won seven of its last 10 games after starting 1-6. “This kind of thing will go a long way in creating more confidence for our team.”
“That was a huge game for us, because it showed us that no matter how far down we are, were can come back. It was good for us to experience something like that.
Katelyn Hershberger added 12 service points for Hiland, while Yoder recorded nine kills, two blocks and nine service points, including four aces, Madisynn Bryk earned eight kills, as did Brooke Stutzman, and Kim Miller chalked up 32 assists.
The Hiland JV also continued to put together a solid campaign, winning again by a 25-15, 25-15 score.