ARMSTRONG - Playing the rubber match for the 2013 season, North Union and Spirit Lake battled for five games and it all came down to the final three points.
Tied at 12-12 in the deciding set, Spirit Lake committed two hitting errors to give the hosts match point.
After a long rally, Warrior middle hitter Aurora Oliver finally got a chance and pounded the ball off a double block by the Indians. The deflection dropped to the floor on Spirit Lake's side of the court as North Union players celebrated the 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12 victory.
"We're 1-1 with them (Spirit Lake) this season and we really wanted to get this last win," said North Union coach Hilary Elliott. "When we got down, wed' always seem to work our way back. We've had some younger kids stepping up and playing well."
North Union had defeated Spirit Lake 2-0 at the Indians' Tournament on Sept. 14. Spirit Lake avenged the loss with a 2-0 victory at the Forest City Tournament the following week.
Thursday, North Union appeared ready to take the first game after taking a 23-22 lead. But two blocks by the Indians gave them game point as the capitalized.
Spirit Lake used the momentum to take a 5-0 lead in the second game, but North Union battled back to take an 8-7 lead. The Indians retook the lead and led by as many as four and held a 23-20 lead late. But North Union rattled off four straight points with kills by Anna Bauer and Sara Rolling and two Spirit Lake errors to get game point. Bauer then blocked a Spirit Lake hit to tie the match at one game apiece.
In the third game, North Union broke a 10-10- tie with five straight points, which included an ace serve by Jordan Guerdet and two kills by Rolling. The Warriors hung onto the lead with a kill by Emily Hagebock giving them a 24-20 lead.
In the fourth game, Spirit Lake again jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Although North Union got within two points several times, the Indians maintained the lead and a kill by Bailey Loveall closed out the game.
North Union led by three points twice in the final game with Spirit Lake rallying to take a 12-11 lead using a pair of blocks and a kill by Loveall.
Spirit Lake (10-11 overall) is at Estherville Lincoln Central on Thursday next week.
North Union (15-17 overall) is at Laurens-Marathon on Tuesday and then is home against Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire on Thursday next week.