CLAYTON -- Cloverdale staged a spirited comeback to extend its match with Monrovia, but lost in the decisive fifth game, 25-19, 25-15, 22-25,17-25, 15-9, in the 2A Sectional 44 semifinal Saturday at Cascade.
"I thought the kids played real well," Clovers' coach Kathy Moore said. "We had a couple of players missing. I'm proud of the team. Sometimes they say adversity shows your character and our character was outstanding. We raised our level of play because of the changes to the lineup and played a good match. We had only one senior (Mariah Oetken) out there."
Oetken had 10 kills, two blocks and scored seven points. Junior Bradanne Toney led the Clovers (16-11) with 22 kills, six digs, five points and one block. Junior setter Bristina Skiles had 30 assists, seven digs, four points and two kills. Taylor Gruener had eight digs, four points and two kills, sophomore Lindsay Robson had eight digs, eight points and one kill and sophomore Rebekah Jordan scored nine points.
Moore did not identify the missing players or why they didn't play.
The Clovers and Bulldogs (12-15) were tied eight times in the third game, the last at 17-17.
Cloverdale scored three straight points and held the lead the rest of the way, but Monrovia kept it close.
With the Bulldogs trailing 23-22, Oetken delivered back-to-back kills to put the game away.
The Clovers took command midway through the fourth game.
Leading 14-12, Toney scored two straight points on a touch shot at the net and a block to start an 11-5 run to tie the match, 2-2.
"Cloverdale is well coached and they changed their game play to rolling and tipping in the third game," Monrovia coach Celina Clements said.
Monrovia jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the fifth game.
"We didn't get a good start and it's difficult to recover in a 15-point game," Moore said.
Toney's kill and Robson's ace cut the Clovers' deficit to 6-4 and they also were behind 7-5, 9-6 and 12-9. But each time Cloverdale closed the gap, the Bulldogs would stretch their lead.
Class 2ACascade Sectional
Cloverdale 19 15 25 25 9
Monrovia 25 25 22 17 15