Tensions were high as the Oyster River girls volleyball team took on their rival, Coe-Brown at home with fans from both schools coming out to show their support.
Struggling to keep up with Coe-Brown, the varsity volleyball team lost a home game to their rivals on Tuesday, October 12. This was their second game this season against Coe-Brown’s team, losing both games. The game ended in the fourth set, with the Bobcats losing 30-28, and making Coe-Brown win their third and final set of the night. The fans for both sides really showed up and kept their energy high all night for a very anticipated game.
The game started off with Coe-Brown scoring the first point. Coe-Brown won the first set 25-19. Oyster River came back and won the second set 25-23. Coe-Brown won the third set 25-18. And finally, after a tough battle, Coe-Brown won the fourth set, winning 30-28 and winning the game. Coe-Brown was a good serving team with hard and fast serves that were difficult for Oyster River to receive the ball and set up a good offense. The fourth set was well played. The rallies were very long and both teams hustled to keep the ball in play. It ended with the last couple of points back-to-back from both teams, but Coe-Brown was able to take the lead and the win home. “I think one of the things we did best is that we stayed positive. That’s one thing that we’ve always done really well and we’ve always pushed each other really hard,” says Josie Malloy (‘23), rightside hitter from Coe-Brown.
The game remained very close all night with Coe-Brown in the lead and Oyster River right on their tail. Outside hitter and captain Kim Gowell (‘22) said, “we just wanted to win so badly that we lost sight of how we could actually do that and let our angry and anxious energy force us to make unnecessary errors and not play like the team that we know we can be.”
This game was hyped up from the beginning, having been set on 9/24, spirit day and a day before the soccer teams played Coe-Brown as well but the game had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns. The energy that came from the Bobcats fan section was unmatched, with this being the first rivalry home game the volleyball team has faced with fans since 2019. “I love, more than anything, having fans here. It gives us more of a reason to fight and it just makes the gym so much more lively,” says Gowell.
Malloy says that Coe-Brown felt the pressure from the fan section and it was apparent when they started making many mistakes when on the side of the Bobcats’ fan section, letting the Bobcats tie up the game in the second set. “The Oyster River fan section tends to bring us down a little bit… and gets us more nervous, but in the end we used that hype and the hype from our fan section to help us persevere,” says Malloy. Both teams seemed to be feeling the pressure from the fans, and the fans made sure to provide that as much as they could. “We tried our best… to have an effect on the other team’s game and I think anything [Coe-Brown] supplied we also supplied,” says Jayson Blaisdell (‘22).
Although the Bobcats were unable to take home a win, they were able to maintain a positive outlook on the game. “I think the game was tough [and] it didn’t end how we wanted it to, but the girls fought back and did a lot of good things over the course of the night,” says Cassandra Doore, the girls volleyball coach for Oyster River.
The Bobcats now have the same record as Coe-Brown, and are tied for second with a record of 11-2, and Gilford being in first with a record of 13-1. Their next game is away at Somersworth on Monday, October 18 at 5:45pm. After that is their senior night game against St. Thomas on Wednesday, October 20th.
Photos by Sofia Sarzosa