Colusa High School’s gym was able to withstand the intensity of which volleyball fans cheered that likely measured on the Richter scale. On Thursday evening, Pierce and a drove of supporters sat in stands alongside loyal Colusa fans. Ultimately, Pierce was the victor with a final score of 3-0.
The sets flew by as the teams echoed each other point for point nearly the entire game. But Colusa, unable to match Pierce’s stamina, pushed the Lady Bears over at the end of each set.
Part of the hullabaloo was due to the presence of Pierce’s football team that finished practice early and went to the volleyball game. According to Pierce fan, Jody Ehrke, their presence made a difference toward Pierce’s win.
“It’s just the energy,” Ehrke said. “The crowd goes back and forth between both sides and it’s so beneficial for the girls because its just that level of excitement. It’s unreal.”
“The parents are really good supporters on both sides here,” said Dave Myers, who came to cheer on the RedHawks. “You can see Arbuckle showed up with a full court press, which is really good. There was a lot more here than just a game today.”
Kim Travis, coach for the Bears, said that everyone wants to go home with the win but the nature of competitive volleyball is that only one team can claim victory.
“Colusa has built a great program,” she said. “Tina came in just a couple years after I did and she’s built a great program. I’m glad to have such good volleyball in the county.”
Travis said her strategy was to give less opportunities to the RedHawk’s powerful middle by serving tough. Sierra Murphy was able to bring the serving aces to the game and keep the RedHawks out of system.
The fans were vocal about their excitement, but if fervor is what will tip the win, the Lady Bears’ on the court-side definitely helped.
“In game two, we were down and Sierra got on a serving roll,” Travis said. “But it was the (cheering) that was engaging them. Just having those teammates that keep everybody fired up, it makes the difference.”
Murphy’s revival made the second game a nail-biter with Pierce having to score 26 points to keep the win from Colusa’s 24 points. Lady RedHawks Hannah Taylor and Carly Lay were killers but others were thwarted by Travis’ other strategy.
“We came in with a goal of we’re not going to let anything touch the floor,” Travis said. “I mean, there were a couple, but for the most part, we played good defense.”
Principal for Colusa High School, Josh Mason, who avidly supports the athletic teams with his presence at the games, said that he is confident in the Lady RedHawks.
“They’ll come back and fight,” he said. “It’s early in the season. They’re a real good team.”
In a few weeks, the rivals will have another chance to settle the score on Oct. 15. For now, the league games continue on Thursday when Colusa goes up to Willows and Pierce heads down to Winters.
“It’s a hometown rivalry,” said Ehrke. “We go back and forth every year. It’s healthy; it’s good. A little spirit goes a long way.” ■