Ruston, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Ruston Bearcats went up against some heavy competition Saturday afternoon at the Ruston Sports Complex, and the newly crowned district champs went down to the wire against East Ascension that gave them all they could handle.

The Bearcats endured a back-and-forth matchup with the Spartans that had fans on the edge of their seats and screaming their lungs out before each serve. Ruston’s ongoing streak of not dropping a set since their last loss back in September came to an end; The Spartans took the first set 25-20.

The second set is where things began to intensify with neither team being to grab a hold of a comfortable lead at any point. Numerous ties led to a photo finish when the game was locked at 24 a piece before the Bearcats regained their momentum and won the second after scoring the next two kills and forcing a decisive third set.

Shortly after the Spartans took care of business and won the final set 15-7 to down the bearcats, but even though the loss stings players like Allie Richardson took the defeat as motivator to get better in the future.

“I think we definitely needed it, and it put us into perspective of the things we need to work on more. You can’t learn if you don’t lose, so I think this was good.”

Allie Richardson, Ruston Bearcats Libero

Another heartfelt dynamic fills the Ruston roster with Harper Cauley, the daughter of Ruston Volleyball Head Coach Amanda Cauley, being able to enjoy the sport she loves alongside her mom, but sometimes it may cause a little confusion on what to refer to her as in competitive settings.

“It’s definitely hard because I don’t know whether to call her coach or mom, but typically I go with coach. It’s like a mother and daughter relationship too, so balancing that on and off the court is really tough, but I think we manage it pretty well.”

Harper Cauley, Ruston Bearcats Outside Hitter

The Bearcats next matchup will be on Tuesday when they look to get back to their dominating ways against Captain Shreve in Shreveport.