A slow start can sometimes be like a slap in the face, it has to happen for a team to find that higher gear.
The Kellogg Wildcats got that slap in the form of a shocking first set loss (22-25) before rattling off three consecutive wins (25-20, 25-14, & 25-13) to take their Intermountain League home opener.
The Wildcats got out to an early lead, but Charter recovered, and rallied, and before Kellogg could recover, the Panthers were up 1-set to none.
“We have slower tendencies in the beginning, but it’s the finish that counts,” joked coach Hollie Yrjana following the win. “We had some players really step where we needed it and it showed.”
The Wildcats finished the match looking very much like a team to be reckoned with, as they battered the Panthers in every aspect of the game.
Kellogg’s twin towers Kat Rauenhorst and Cierra Brandt terrorized Charter on both offense and defense blocking and hitting everything near the net.
Meanwhile, every other Wildcat showed their serving and passing prowess.
“Maddie (Bush), Kaili (Cates), Rylee (Riekena) and Jaron (Figueroa) all played fantastic with their passing and serving,” Yrjana said. “Those girls helped us go on some big runs that helped us put them away. Kat is getting better each day and Cierra hit better for us tonight than she has at any point this season.”
Overall, Yrjana saw some things she really liked and a couple things she didn’t.
“I think we need to work on hitting our holes with purpose and intent,” Yrjana said. “But our passing and serving was terrific. We played with high energy and our communication on the court was much better than it has been. This was a great home opener.”
Kellogg (1-2, 1-0 IML) will be on the road on Thursday at Priest River and then at home again next Tuesday against Timberlake.