Pats best Rangers in four

Photos by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Heritage Hills senior Rebekah Gordon reaches to make contact with the ball during the second set of Monday evening's game against Forest Park in Lincoln City.


Monday evening's Pocket Athletic Conference volleyball game between the Forest Park Rangers and the Heritage Hills Patriots did not lack for drama. Because the Rangers remained resilient, the action inside the Heritage Hills gymnasium dripped with intensity. 

When the dust settled, Heritage Hills claimed a four-set victory over Forest Park. The Patriots earned a 25-16, 25-13, 24-26, 25-17 win. 

The Patriots surged ahead and captured an 18-10 lead in the first set. Senior Rebekah Gordon’s strong serves helped Heritage Hills claim the advantage. 

“They went aggressive in the first couple of games,” Heritage Hills head coach Kayla White said. “They hit where I asked them to. I think that really set the tone in the first couple of games.” 

The early success on the serve-receive helped the Patriots establish a consistent rhythm at the net. Throughout the contest, the front line of Heritage Hills continued to rack up points. 

In the second set, the Patriots stayed on the attack and kept their momentum alive. Playing with poise, Heritage Hills senior Liz Mehling remained level-headed and guided the Patriots to their second consecutive set victory. 

Unwilling to concede a sweep, the Rangers flipped the script in the third set. A flurry of points in the middle of the frame injected new life into Forest Park. 

“I think they woke up a little bit,” Rangers head coach Tara LaGrange said with a laugh. “They saw that they could play against the team. They went with it. It was great.” 

While the prolonged rally continued, the jubilant Rangers celebrated on the bench. The Patriots responded in kind and forced a Forest Park timeout late in the third set. 

From there, the Patriots made a convincing run. Trailing 24-21, Heritage Hills strung together three straight points. Facing a 24-24 tie on the scoreboard, the Rangers bonded together and secured the set victory. 

Back and forth it went. Neither side established a great deal of momentum in the early stages of the fourth set, but the Patriots found a groove in the middle of the frame. 

Forest Park junior Ali Brandes celebrates after a point in the first set of Monday evening's contest against Heritage Hills in Lincoln City.

When the Patriots gained a 15-10 advantage, the Rangers called another timeout. Three additional points pushed the margin to 18-10. 

The Rangers trimmed the deficit to 21-16. Then, the Patriots called a timeout and regrouped. 

That final timeout helped Heritage Hills claim its victory. 

“They figured out what they needed to,” White said. “They made it work.” 

Heritage Hills will be back Tuesday to host Northeast Dubois. Forest Park will return Thursday at North Posey. 

“They’re getting it,” White said. “It’s starting to click. Pieces click each game. We’re just waiting for it to all click at one time in the same game.” 

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