The Hayden Tigers looked as though they were going to shut down the Soroco Rams on Friday, winning the first two games, and never allowing the Rams to get ahead in the second game -- but then the tides turned.
Soroco came from behind in the third game to overcome the Tigers, and then the girls did the unthinkable by winning the next two games to win the match.
Before the game, Hayden coach Amber Hall said the teams were evenly matched and it would come down to who played more intensely. She was right.
The Tigers played intensely in the first three matches, playing solid fundamentals, often setting up hard spikes delivered by junior outside hitter Jaime Waugh.
Soroco began the match, lacking those fundamentals, hitting several of their serves into the net.
Soroco coach Valerie Remick told the girls they could either quit now or at least serve the ball correctly, junior Karli Babcock said.
"We were going to give up," Babcock said. "But this was our biggest game of the year since it was our last before districts."
"We finally just started playing together," senior Hallie Shiner said.
When Soroco started playing together, that's when Hayden fell apart, Hall said.
"They have trouble believing they can win," Hall said. "They start thinking, 'OK, we've got to do this to keep from losing.' Once you start thinking anything about losing, you've already lost.
"It really hurt them. They just started making hitting and passing mistakes because they were so afraid of not winning. They played their hearts out, but they just lacked the confidence to win."
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