It was nearly Dj vu for the Bottineau High School volleyball team on Tuesday.
Leading 2-0, the Stars lost the next two games to force a deciding fifth. Unlike Thursday's match, where Bottineau led 2-0 before losing to Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood, the Stars dominated the fifth game against Region 6 foe Bishop Ryan and won the road match 3-2 (25-21,26-24,15-25,14-25,15-6).
"Our girls picked it up and got excited for each other," Bottineau coach Steve Dunrud said. "We're learning. We're a young team and we have to learn to fight through some adversity. I was really proud that we were able to come back."
Bottineau junior outside hitter Courtney Gallagher had three consecutive aces during the fifth game and junior outside hitter Danielle McDonald had two timely kills and finished the Lions with an ace.
"It was just like against (MLS)," McDonald said. "It was so nerve-wracking. That's exactly how it was against (MLS). We thought it was going to be just like that and we were down on ourselves. But we didn't want it to end like that and we played better."
Miscommunication and service errors put Ryan in an early hole in the fifth set. The Stars took an 8-2 lead as shots dropped between two or three Lions on three separate occasions.
"The problem we had in that fifth game is that we need to realize that planning needs to take place when the ball is not being played," Ryan coach Patty Luetzen said.
Bottineau (7-2 overall, 2-1 region) jumped out to an early lead in the first two games and maintained the advantages. But when Bottineau hit the 24-point mark in the game, Ryan chipped away at the lead. In the first game the Lions trailed 24-17 before tallying four consecutive points to cut the deficit to 24-21. The Stars took the opening game on the next serve.
Ryan (3-5, 0-1) trailed 24-18 in the second game before rallying to a 24-24 tie. Bottineau rebounded thanks to a McDonald kill and an errant shot by Ryan senior middle hitter Quinn Harmon. McDonald finished the game with 11 kills and led the Stars with four aces and 11 digs.
The Lions came out desperate in the third game and took a 9-2 lead. Despite eight service errors, Ryan took the game easily.
"The third and fourth game we knew we had to go," junior setter Maddie Lipp said. "If we didn't go at that moment we knew it was over. We just came out as hard as we could and that really benefited us and we need to be ready to do that the first and the second game."
Lipp helped force a fifth set with back-to-back aces. She finished with four aces and added 17 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Stewart delivered a team-high 12 aces for the Lions and also had 2.5 blocks.
Despite the loss, Luetzen is happy with the progress she's seen from her team.
"We have a history of losing 3-0 to Bottineau," she said. "Now we're playing five-game matches with Bottineau and we will with Kenmare, we will with Our Redeemer's."
Bottineau hosts Kenmare at 7 p.m. Thursday and Ryan plays at Velva at 7 p.m. Tuesday.