When you're up, you're up, and when you're down, you're down.
That was certainly the case Friday night at Skyview High School where the host Panthers defeated the Colony Knights in five games in a Region III/4A match.
"That match was up and down and up and down and up and down -- it was weird," said Skyview's Shari Isaak. "That was the biggest roller coaster ride we've had this season."
Colony took a 15-5 win in game one, but Skyview bounced back to even the match with a 15-1 win in the second game.
Things continued to bounce Skyview's way in game three as the Panthers notched a 15-8 win, but Colony forced a fifth game with a 15-6 victory in game four.
Skyview ran out to a 14-4 lead in the deciding game and then held off a Colony rally to clinch the match with a 15-9 win.
Skyview pulled off a clean sweep on its home floor against Palmer Saturday, defeating the Moose in three games, 15-7, 15-6, and 15-13. The Panthers finished their region schedule with an 8-2 record, and will be the No. 1 seed from the Southern Division at the Region III tournament.
"Both teams are really emotional teams," said Colony coach Bryce Ray after Friday's match. "With that back and forth swinging, you could see that emotion. I told my girls, 'Both teams are emotional, so you've gotta want this one.' I think senior night helped them out."
In fact, saying goodbye to their senior class did provide an emotional lift for the Panthers.
"We got out there and said, 'OK, we're going to do this. It's our senior night,'" said Skyview's Angel Hollers.
Colony led Skyview 14-1 in the first game before the Panthers could get four points on Jessika Truesdell's serve to narrow the gap.
Colony finished off game one with a kill by Stephanie Deml, but Skyview returned the favor by putting up 10 points before Colony got on the board in the second game.
Christina Colvin served for the first three points of the game, getting one on a kill by Christine Hayes. Hayes then stepped to the service line and reeled off six straight points, getting kills from Jenny Carpenter, Hollers and Laura Tarbox along the way.
Tarbox scored a point on her serve, and Ilva Gulane boosted the Panthers' lead to 13-1 with three points from the service line, two of them aces.
Colony and Skyview were tied at 6 in the third game before the Panthers started to pull away. Colvin served for two points, with both rallies ending on kills by Tarbox.
Hayes served for five points, starting off her run with an ace. Carpenter finished off the run with a kill, one of the 21 she had for the match, giving the Panthers a 13-6 lead.
Colony got two more points before Isaak served out the game, getting the winning point on another kill by Carpenter.
"Carp and Christine had really good hitting games," Isaak said.
Colony came back to win the fourth game, leveling the match and forcing a fifth game to decide matters.
Skyview jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on Colvin's serve, and extended it to 7-1 on a pair of serves by Carpenter.
Colvin made it 9-1 on her next rotation to the service line, getting a block by Tarbox and a back row hit by Hayes to cap a long rally.
Truesdell made it 11-3 with a pair of points from the service line, including an ace, and Hayes got the Panthers to match point with her serve, getting a quick-set kill and a block by Carpenter.
Colony rallied for six points behind the serve of Dana Sparrs, but Hollers served for the match and Carpenter put down her final kill of the night to clinch the victory.
"I thought one of our strengths was our quick offense," Isaak said. "That worked real well. Laura got two points in a row that changed the momentum."
"We caught them before they got their block up," Hollers said.
Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid was pleased with her squads' play at the net throughout the match.
"Our kids did a good job blocking at the net," Kupferschmid said. "Laura, I don't know how many blocks she had."
Skyview also got a boost up front from Laurel Creel, filling in at middle, as well as Brandi Aldridge and Amanda Fay.
The tough match was good for the Panthers as they prepare for next weekend's region tournament -- where Skyview is likely to see Colony again.
"Hard games like this one get us ready to go into regions," Hollers said. "Coach keeps saying she wants us to have confidence going into regions."
The Panthers kept building confidence in Saturday's match against Palmer. Stacia Pfaffe returned to the lineup to record six blocks and four kills while Carpenter had 12 kills and Hollers had five kills. Tarbox had two blocks.
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