Corrine Rea passes the ball to the front row.

Cascade’s volleyball season came to an end Oct, 20 in a tense quarterfinal showdown against the West Branch Bears.

The Cougars fought back from deficits all night but fell in four sets. After the Bears took set one, 25-21, Cascade rebounded for set two, 25-23, but lost the final two, 27-25, 25-18.

West Branch started the match ahead 9-3 forcing the Cougars into a timeout. After that, the Cougars raised their level and tied the match at 10. It was to be the pattern of the game throughout — the Bears surging to a lead and the Cougars fighting back to even. The teams slugged it out the rest of the first set before the Bears broke free of a 19-all tie to take the set 25-21.

In the second set, it was Cascade jumping to a quick lead and West Branch battling from behind. The Bears caught Cascade at 12 and the teams traded blows until the Cougars were able to edge ahead at 23-21 and hold on to even the match at one set apiece.

The third set battle was decisive. The Bears led early and kept holding off surge after surge from Cascade. Every point was a hotly contested skirmish with both teams scrambling on defense to stay alive.

The Cougar defense was aided greatly by the return of senior libero Elizabeth Gibbs from injury. Coach Mary Frake said Gibbs was not at 100 percent was able to stabilize the Cougar defense.

Neither team gained control of the set until Cascade seemingly took charge behind the service of McKenna Gehl and ran off four points in a row to set point at 24-21. It was Cascade’s largest lead of the set but the Bears followed outside hitter Lexi Klinkhammer and rallied to tie the set at 24. Galvanized by Klinkhammer’s hitting, West Branch closed out the set at 27-25.

The Cougars began the fourth set physically and emotionally drained while the Bears were soaring after their last-ditch rally in the third. Cascade could muster no more rallies and West Branch took the fourth set with little drama.

The Cougars finished the season with a record of 21-12.

Cascade’s statistical leaders were: assists — Megan Smith 24, Claudia Noonan 14, Gibbs two; kills — Gehl 14, Ally Hoffman 13, Corrine Rea seven, Brianna Koppes five, Maggie McDermott three, Kate Green two; aces — Claudia Noonan four, Gehl two, Hoffman one; digs — Gibbs 36, Smith 20, Hoffman and Noonan 12, Rea and Alyssa Lux seven, McDermott four, Koppes and Green one.