Vikings rally from losing the first set to win their final regular season home game

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Colton honored its seven senior volleyball players before Monday's match against Culver.

COLTON — The Vikings seven seniors have played a lot of matches at Colton High School over the past four years.

But their final one in front of the home crowd may have been their best.

"This one feels really great because I think we came together as a team," said senior outside hitter Olivia Spitzer after the Vikings defeated Tri-River Conference rival Culver 3-2 Monday night. "We are called the comeback kids. We have had a lot of close games like that and we come out on top, and I love that about this team."

After Colton honored its seven seniors (Spitzer, Olivia Roland, Madie Beguelin, Madison Olsen, Courtney Weinberger, Sadie Martell and Sophie Holden), Culver, which lost to the Vikings 3-1 earlier in the month on its own senior night, won the first set 25-21.

"We beat them on their senior night, so we knew they probably wanted to come and take it from us like we did from them," Spitzer said.

Colton evened the match with a 25-22 victory in the second set, and then won the third 26-24 on a Maddy Pierce kill to take a 2-1 lead.

"We all had to come together and the more we work together the better we play," Pierce said. "I think that's what really pushed us and got us the win."

Colton trailed for much of the fourth set, but behind Pierce's serving, which included two aces, the Vikings came back to take a 17-16 lead.

However, Culver then went on a 4-0 run and held on to win 25-21 to force a fifth set.

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Colton senior Courtney Weinberger knocks the ball back of the net against Culver.

But the Vikings stayed positive.

"Being able to bring each other up is a big thing that helps us keep with it," Spitzer said. "We don't give up, which has been a problem in the past, but this year we've been really good about staying positive, and not giving up and not being timid. We don't back down."

Colton jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the deciding set and finished off the Bulldogs 15-11 to win the match.

"We knew we could do it," Spitzer said. "We knew we just had to stay as a team. We've had a lot of games like that. I'm glad we were able to do it and stick together, even though it was tough at the beginning."

Colton was swept by Culver 3-0, 3-0 last season.

"This is huge," Pierce said. "They killed us last year, both games in three sets. It's really big for us. We were more upbeat than we usually are and energetic."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Colton senior Olivia Spitzer had 10 kills Monday against Culver.

Spitzer had 10 kills and three aces in her final home game.

"I just really wanted to give my all and my best," she said. "We've had our best year in my high school career. I'm very happy about this season. It's kind of sad. It doesn't really feel real. It's a pretty surreal time in my life right now. I don't really feel like a senior."

Roland had 12 kills and three aces. Beguelin posted 10 kills and three aces. Olsen had 23 assists.

"Everyone pulled through when they needed to," Colton coach Shannon Weinberger said. "We just wouldn't give up. We were relentless and that's the way they play. That's typical of them.They love being here. They wouldn't want to be anywhere else. That's why they win. Five games is typical of this team. It doesn't faze them. They don't give up."

Derek Wiley
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