THOMAS — The top two teams in the 3A fifth district collided at Snake River High School and after the dust had settled, Snake River emerged triumphant after a five game thriller 20-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20 and 15-6.
"I think that we just had to get the jitters out to start," Snake River head coach Shelli Van Orden said. "We are mentally strong, we have a lot of experience and we just fought through it tonight."
After dropping the first two games Snake River roared back to life in the third game behind the very vocal, loud support of the home crowd.
"We would love to see this kind of crowd at Bear Lake next week," Van Orden said. "We need them."
From there the Panthers rode that wave of momentum through the fourth game and into the fifth and final game.
Alexa Lund, who was one of three seniors honored in a pre-match ceremony, started the fifth and final game out with 5 straight service winners and from there it was the beginning of the end for the Bears.
Fellow senior, Eden Van Orden capped the win with an ace on the games final point, sending the capacity crowd home with smiles on their faces.
Van Orden finished the night with 23 kills while Jocelyn Harper added 13 kills.
Alexa Lund dished out 26 assists and Shayla Christensen was a rock on the back line with 19 digs.
Not lost on the night was the trio of seniors, Van Orden, Lund and Laura Thompson who each played for the final time on the home court.
"I've coached these girls since the fourth grade and they are just hard workers and they are team leaders," Van Orden said. "A lot of times I don't even need to say anything in the huddle because they take charge and it's especially hard when it's your daughter."
The Panthers wrap up the regular season tonight at Marsh Valley before opening district tournament play next Wednesday at Bear Lake.