Calley Heilborn calls it “going crazy.”
Her coach calls it quirky and a bit goofy.
But whenever the Auburn Riverside High School volleyball teams scores, whether by one of Heilborn’s kills or not, chances are you’ll see Heilborn’s head bobbing, tongue waving or fists pumping with some leg kicks to boot.
That was a frequent occurrence Monday as Auburn Riverside handed rival Auburn Mountainview its first league loss. The Ravens did so in three sets, 25-14, 25-13, 31-29, on a raucous senior night to clinch the 4A North Puget Sound League Olympic division title.
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Heilborn had a match-high 23 kills with nine digs to lead Auburn Riverside (13-1, 7-0 4A NPSL Olympic), which was ranked No. 2 in the most recent volleyball coaches association 4A poll.
But as easy as this win looked, Heilborn suggested otherwise.
“It definitely was not easy,” Heilborn said. “We’ve been working really hard to beat them. This was definitely the most challenging game we’ve had so far.”
She was referring to that third set, in which the Ravens rallied from a 9-1 deficit to win. Auburn Mountainview (10-4, 6-1) had trailed the entire second set and all but the first two points of the first.
“I feel like we just wanted to win so bad,” said Lions senior Kiley Lewis, a Boise State commit. “This was really important to us, and we are all really hard workers. So sometimes we get down on ourselves mentally. But whenever we start playing together as a team it starts working better.”
The 4A NPSL Olympic title comes after Auburn Riverside won back-to-back league titles in the 3A SPSL, capping the 2014 season with a 3A state title and last year finishing third.
And if they hope to make another deep run this year, Auburn Riverside coach Chris Leverenz said, they’ll need Heilborn, who was fighting off a cold, to stay as loose, and even as goofy, as she was at times Monday — tongue wagging, air kicking and all.
“It just comes out of there,” Heilborn laughed. “I can’t even control it.”
“I can read it on her face if she’s not in that moment,” Leverenz said. “She’s very focused and super intense. But she’s super funny, too. And she was amazing tonight. That’s probably the best I’ve seen Calley play in a while.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677, @TJCotterill
AUBURN RIVERSIDE 3, AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW 0
Game scores: 25-14, 25-13, 31-29
AR: Calley Heilborn 23 kills, 9 digs; Kaytlin Heaslip 15 digs, 2 aces; Ciera Zimmerman 7 kills, 33 assists; Clarice Buchanan 16 digs; Anna Maracich 7 kills
AMV: Kiley Lewis 16 kills 2 digs 2 blocks; Emily Martinez 5 kills; April Talaiga 3 kills 2 digs