Tigers win it in 5

Hayden volleyball spikes Plateau Valley

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— The team looked good, then looked bad, but in the end, the Hayden High School volleyball team was able to pull out a five-game win against Plateau Valley on Saturday in Hayden.

The Tigers downed the Cowboys, 16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-10, to improve to 4-1 overall in Greg Johnson's first season at the helm.

Although the Tigers were inconsistent throughout, Johnson said that's something he's accepting. He's implementing a new up-tempo system that he hopes, in time, will help Hayden dominate.

He said it obviously will take time, but the early results have been positive.

"What we're trying to do right now is play a certain way, and learning to play that way," Johnson said. "We're trying to play an aggressive offense. Since we're just learning to do that we're going to make mistakes. I'm OK with that. I'm OK with losing a couple early games because it will help us out in the end."

The Tigers showed the good and the bad Saturday.

In the first and fourth games, Hayden let early leads slip away, mostly because of ineffective serving and unforced errors. While the team wasn't as crisp in the other three games, Johnson's new offense certainly was starting to take shape.

Hayden went on big runs in each and was able to outlast Plateau Valley, a team Hayden beat, 3-1, earlier in the season.

Kylee Sweetser led the Tigers with 17 kills, while Rachael Koehler added eight. Lindsey Schlingman and Jarah Woodley led the team in digs.

"Our coach is really big about attitude," said Sweetser, one of eight seniors on the team. "So when we change our attitude, it definitely changes our game. We're better at just shaking stuff off after making mistakes."

Hayden definitely let the fourth game roll right off of the team.

The Tigers were up, 20-16, at one point before the Cowboys pulled away. Instead of falling apart, however, the Tigers bounced back and cruised through the fifth game.

"I really think we needed a win today," Johnson said. "I was willing to take a loss if that's what we needed. But we didn't fold when things got tough."

Hayden next plays at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in North Park.

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