COLO - An amazing comeback wasn’t quite in the cards for the Colo-NESCO volleyball team against Baxter Sept. 27 in Colo.


The Royals nearly came all the way back from a 2-0 deficit before falling to the Bolts in five sets.


Baxter dominated the first two sets by 25-14 and 25-15 scores. The Bolts seemed poised for a sweep when they took a 14-7 lead in set three.


But after the slow start in the third set, the Royals began executing at a much higher rate and showing great resolve.


Colo-NESCO went on a 9-2 run, capped by an ace by Rylee Purvis and Gracie Kettwig kill to pull within 17-16. Baxter eventually pushed its lead back up to 23-19, but Colo-NESCO ripped off three consecutive points finished by a Kettwig ace to get within one and force a Baxter timeout.


Baxter got to game point on a long Colo-NESCO serve. But two Bolt errors kept the Royals alive.


Colo-NESCO eventually went up 26-25 on a Purvis kill. Two Baxter mistakes helped seal an impressive 28-26 comeback win to keep the Royals alive.


“We’ve been down lately — they were in our heads the last couple matches,” Colo-NESCO head volleyball coach Jessica Owens said. “But they broke that mental state that they were in and did what we’ve been practicing.”


The hot play continued into the fourth set. Colo-NESCO jumped out to a 5-1 lead and eventually stretched the advantage to nine points before a Lindsey Riese ace finished off a 25-18 victory


“They were on it with everything,” Owens said. “Our transitions were on, our hits were on and we were able to mix it up when we needed to.”


In the decisive rally game Colo-NESCO was still firing on all cylinders early, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. But then the Royals simply ran out of gas.


Baxter scored the next 11 points and rolled to a 15-7 victory to end the match. The loss put Colo-NESCO at 5-15 overall and 2-3 in the Iowa Star Conference South Division.


“Win or lose, they played the best they’ve ever played,” Owens said. “All the things that we’ve been working on this season finally came together every single play. So I’m nothing but happy about it.”


Colo-NESCO had 27 kills against 18 attack errors and did an awesome job serving the ball by going 82 of 86 with 17 aces. The Royals also tallied 46 digs and four blocks as a team.


Kettwig led Colo-NESCO in kills with eight and aces with five and she also had two blocks. She faced a huge challenge going up against Baxter star middle hitter Amber Weltha, who shattered the Bolt record for kills in a match with 30 and also had seven blocks.


Purvis was a perfect 20 of 20 serving with four aces and she also turned in 12 digs, five kills, two assists and one block. Emma Sarver contributed 18 digs and three aces; Megan Carlson 20 assists, four kills and four digs; Maggie Barten five kills and three digs and Riese seven digs, four aces and two kills.


Emmy Hostetler chipped in three kills, one block and one ace and Lauryn Hill one dig for Colo-NESCO.


Baxter improved to 8-6 overall and 4-1 in the conference. Sophie Meyer backed up Weltha with 13 digs, six kills and five aces; Kaitlyn Headlee dished out 30 assists and Bekka Watt delivered 21 digs and four kills for the Bolts.


MAXWELL - Colo-NESCO was hurt by a poor serve receive in a four-set loss to Collins-Maxwell Sept. 25 at Maxwell.


The Royals’ lone victory in the match was a 25-23 thriller in the second set. Colo-NESCO lost 25-10 in the first set, 25-20 in the third and 25-12 in the fourth, falling to 5-14 overall and 2-2 in the Iowa Star Conference South Division.


Collins-Maxwell’s strong serve gave Colo-NESCO fits for most of the match. Collins-Maxwell went 80 of 86 serving with 14 aces.


Colo-NESCO also had a tough time with Collins-Maxwell’s defense at the net. The Spartans recorded 16 blocks.


The Royals produced 30 kills against 23 attack errors. Colo-NESCO only served at a 73-percent clip with four aces, and also mustered up just one block.


Rylee Purvis put up 16 digs and nine kills; Megan Carlson 20 assists, two digs and two kills; Maggie Barten six kills, four digs and one ace; Gracie Kettwig six kills and two aces and Emma Sarver 11 digs for the Royals individually. Lindsey Riese contributed four kills, four digs, two assists and one ace; Emmy Hostetler three kills and one block and Lauryn Hill eight digs for Colo-NESCO.


Collins-Maxwell improved to 10-3 overall and 2-1 in the ISC South Division. Josie Wierson led Collins-Maxwell with eight blocks, five aces, three kills and seven digs. Gracie Cheville put up seven kills, nine digs and three aces and Reagan Franzen eight digs, five assists, four kills, three aces and one block. Jillian Holst finished with seven assists, six digs and two kills and Hannah Caple 14 digs and one ace.