Wilton − In a battle between the two teams with the best overall records in the River Valley Conference on Tuesday, Wilton made a strong case for the conference's top spot.

The No. 9 team in class 2A outlasted Class 3A No. 6 West Liberty in four sets, defeating the Comets 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 25-19.

After falling behind 17-12 and with West Liberty’s student section chanting “game is over,” the Beavers stormed back to win the first set 25-22, outscoring Wilton 13-5 at the end.

“This team is very resilient,” Wilton coach Brenda Grunder said. “Ahead, behind, they seem to hold their poise. They’ve played together for a long time, they trust each other, they like each other. And I think that helps us get through some of those moments where we fall behind.” 

The Comets jumped out to another late lead in the second set and this time knew what to do with it, cruising to a 25-17 win while outscoring Wilton 8-1 to close the set.

West Liberty threatened with a comeback of its own in the third set. After falling behind 17-12, the Comets rallied back to within a point, but Wilton scored the last four points for a 25-20 victory.

In a match dominated by long rallies and back-and-forth scoring in which neither team led by more than five points, the Beavers pulled away in the fourth set with a 25-20 victory to take the match 3-1.

“I thought we came out really strong, especially because we had a rough match last Thursday,” Wilton junior Aubrey Putman said. “And we really wanted to come out hard, and we knew we had to push as hard as we could.”

This time it was the Wilton student section’s time to chant, yelling “warm up the bus.”

With the win, Wilton improved to 15-1, while West Liberty fell to 11-2.

The Beavers will be back in action at Camanche (16-4) on Thursday. West Liberty won’t play again until next Tuesday, when it takes on a 4-8 Iowa City Liberty team.

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