Lady Savages ousted by Wolves in Regionals

Leading up to their Regional volleyball match, the Lady Savages were treated to a dinner at the Manor House on October 15, which included a compilation of the team throughout the season. Photo submitted.

Sigourney was on the road for the first round of Regional volleyball play on October 16, when they matched up with the Wolves of Winfield Mt. Union. The Lady Savages started and ended strong but were unable to beat WMU, losing in three straight sets.

Both WMU and Sigourney put up some quick points to get their respective offenses going in the first set before Sigourney finally put together a short tun to take the 11-7 lead. Some well placed kills and tips at the net played a big part in getting that lead, which resulted in a timeout by WMU. The Lady Savages held onto their lead, up as much as two points going forward, until the Wolves staged a rally of their own to go up 22-20 late in the opening set. Sigourney went on to score one more point coming out of a timeout, but WMU closed it out to win it 25-21.

“I felt like we were moving our feet more and passing well, allowing us to get attacks early on,” Sigourney coach Chris Carter said. “We started out strong and even though we weren’t playing our best, we played good enough to stay in the match.”

Sigourney got out to another good start by winning the first couple points in set two, then quickly found themselves down 9-5 after a flurry of points from the Wolves. A timeout by Sigourney wasn’t enough to disrupt the momentum for the home team and the crowd helped them expand their lead over the Lady Savages to double digits. Some errors on service receive, blocking and shots into the net hurt any chance of a comeback by Sigourney as they lost set two 25-12.

“We just didn’t play our game,” Carter said. “There were glimmers at times, but we just didn’t play very well.”

The Lady Savages put it in the back of their mind heading into a must-win situation to force a fourth set and keep their hopes alive. They responded by staying right behind WMU for much of the beginning stage of set three, finally taking a much needed 11-10 lead with a small rally. The confidence started to show on the court again as things were clicking at times for the Lady Savages, which hiccupped for a moment, leading to a 14-11 advantage for WMU and a timeout by Sigourney.

“Game three we had lost our energy, but we found that late in the game,” Carter said. “It was more for pride and to fight back, that was nice to see that we didn’t give up.”

The Wolves were looking to put away Sigourney as quickly as they could but the girls in black and gold wouldn’t go down quietly. The comeback began down 18-13 in a crucial part of the equally crucial set. Sigourney rattled off several points of their own to close the gap considerably, firing up their bench and the players on the court, breathing some life into them. Despite the comeback effort, WMU wouldn’t be shaken enough, closing out and winning the set 25-22. Sigourney was within a couple points several times late but seemingly couldn’t get over the hump when they needed to most.

“We need to build off the positives from this year, think about the things we didn’t do well and fix them for next year,” Carter said. “We lose five seniors who played a big part of our team this year, but we do return a lot of younger kids with experience and other parts of our team. I know it was a frustrating year for our seniors, most playing all four years, I love the fact they stuck it out and gave it everything they had.”

The loss meant an early exit for the Lady Savages, swept in three sets, which led to a closing record of 8-21. It was also the final match for Ryleigh Leonard, Giulia Molinari, Savhannah White, Sloane Magill and Maddie Schwenke in a Sigourney volleyball uniform.