PINCONNING — Belding’s volleyball season came to a tough end Tuesday night.
The Redskins were downed in the Class B regional semifinal by the Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings in four games, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22.
Belding finishes with a 26-8-4 record.
“I will not ever count my kids down,” Belding coach Mikayla Linebaugh said. “They left everything they had on the floor. That’s the tough part. You could go back and easily find two or three mistakes sometimes.”
The Redskins had their way in the first game, recovering from a 9-6 deficit to force the Vikings (39-10-7) to call time out twice.
“I thought our serve receive was on,” Linebaugh said of that game.
“The first game I think we got down with our serve receive and our passing,” said Swan Valley coach Kristin Palmer. “We let the serve receive and passing make a difference. The way we work is we hit, hit, hit and if we can’t pass it up and get it to our hitters we can’t do anything.”
Belding jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second game only to see the Vikings go on a 7-2 run of their own to take a 9-8 lead. But Swan Valley needed to come back from a 15-11 deficit to tie the game at 18 and sneak out the win.
The Vikings got down 17-13 in the third game, forcing Palmer to call a timeout. Whatever she said worked as Swan Valley went on a 7-0 run to take a 20-17 lead and cruised from there.
“I felt like in (games) two and three we couldn’t keep control,” Linebaugh said. “We’d get some tempo and some runs and we let them (Swan Valley) back in.”
Both teams traded the lead in the fourth game until a 7-2 Viking run put them in the lead to stay.
The Redskins couldn’t find any holes to put a ball down in the last three games, Linebaugh noted.
“They (Swan Valley) were scrappy defensively,” Linebaugh said. “I thought we played a good tempo and balls I thought were down they were getting to. It’s regionals. You’re not going to find a bad team in regionals.”
Swan Valley’s two middle hitters, Courtney Reinbold and Lauren Huebner, were the leaders on the team. Reinbold had 19 digs, 26 kills and eight blocks while Heubner had 27 kills on the night.
“Our two middles brought it,” Palmer said. “With those two and everybody playing defense we coldn’t be stopped.”
Belding got 15 kills from Stefanie Harig, 29 assists from Brooke Linebaugh, 25 digs frm Hannah Linebaugh and two blocks each from Holyfield and Peyton Mount.
While the Redskins are done, the Vikings will face Essexville Garber in the regional final. The two teams played in the Tri Valley Conference tournament two weeks ago and Swan Valley won two games from the Dukes.