Those in attendance for Thursday's Bonneville-Hillcrest volleyball match were treated to the closest match between the District 93 rivals in five years.
The Bees went on to sweep the match 25-18, 25-13, 25-15 over the Knights to move to 5-0 in 4A District 6 play. The victory maintains Bonneville's win streak over Hillcrest going back to the beginning of the 2011 season.
The match had similarities to Bonneville's 25-11, 25-22, 26-24 win over Hillcrest in 2014--five lead changes through two sets, hitting errors and serving errors that resulted in easy points and plenty of enthusiasm on both sides of the net.
"I think the first five points (for Hillcrest) were off three hitting errors and two serving errors," Bonneville coach Chantal McMurtrey said. "They had a lot of good energy. We probably didn't pass as well as we could have."
Bonneville (13-4 overall) had to come from behind to win the first set, enduring three lead changes and nine ties before getting nine of the last 10 points to put it away. The Bees led once until the Knights came back to lead 10-7, prompting a Bonneville timeout. After Bonneville went up 15-14, it did not trail again in the set.
The second set was also point-for-point, prompting four ties and two lead changes before Mariah Jardine, Sadie Lott and Makayla Sorensen went to work to help the Bees wrap up the 25-13 win. Jardine remained in the match for the third set, when Lott and Sorensen subbed out, and the Bees built a lead as large as 18-3. The Knights cut into that deficit later in the set, denying the Bees the final point four times before Bonneville completed the three-set sweep with a 25-15 win.
Hillcrest coach Amanda Wade, who cheered with her players in the post-game huddle, said there were plenty of reasons for Hillcrest to be excited about Thursday's efforts.
"We have had a tough start to our season," Wade said. "For them to come out tough and play against Bonneville in that matter, I'm really proud of them. That was a brand new rotation that we didn't even practice yesterday. They capitalized when Bonneville struggled, they played strong and they played fearlessly."
One of the things Wade was pleased with Thursday was how the Knights were able to dig several hits from Bonneville senior Makayla Sorensen, who ended the evening with eight kills and eight digs.
"She's a phenomenal player," Wade said. "She and Sadie (Lott) are such a 1-2 punch. They're hard to handle. My kids have been getting better at reading hitters."
McMurtrey commended the play of sophomore Ryley Baker, one of numerous younger players to enter the match in the third set, for her enthusiasm and her serving, as well as Jardine, a junior who had a team-best 12 kills. Jardine went 12 for 14 in kills, had two aces and played three different positions for the Bees as they changed rotations throughout the night.
"Mariah played pretty darn great," McMurtrey said. "We were doing a good job of stretching her out. Her arm just keeps going up like an elevator. We did a good job of having her in the right locations."
Senior setter Alexis McMurtrey had five aces and 26 assists for Bonneville, which plays Wednesday at Idaho Falls. Jordyn Keller had two blocks and nine digs, Brook Cook had two blocks, Nicole Cordon had 13 digs and Sadie Payne had seven digs and six assists for Hillcrest (3-16 overall, 0-5 4A District 6), which hosts Blackfoot on Tuesday.