Sigourney loses marathon set, gets swept

Sigourney hosted a ranked Montezuma team on October 1 for Senior Night in their last week of regular season play. The Lady Savages played a couple close sets but wound up coming short in the final set and ultimately, the match, resulting in a sweep.

The Lady Savages started off on the right foot by scoring some quick points at the net and getting Montezuma to make some mistakes along the way. A huge block at the net fired up the home crowd and teammates on the bench, followed by an ace from Heidi Clarahan, which led to a timeout by the Bravettes.

“I think we went out and played hard. Our goal was to play competitive and aggressive,” Lady Savages coach Chris Carter said. “We didn’t come out afraid and back down. I was very surprised that we got out to that lead, we hadn’t done that all year, so that was nice to see.”

Sigourney maintained their lead through the first half of the opening set, being up by as much as four points before a Montezuma rally put the visitors up by a couple points. Some mistakes made by Sigourney aided the Bravettes and kept the Lady Savages in a deficit but were hanging in there, down 18-22. Montezuma got a tip shot to drop, ending the set with a score of 25-21.

“I think once they started coming back we started second guessing everything and started to get nervous,” Carter said. “We started overthinking and not just playing.”

Coming out of the first break, the Montezuma hitters appeared to have toned down their kills, opting to mix in more tip shots with the Lady Savages set up for blocking kills at the net. Sigourney stayed within reach, only down a couple points early but Montezuma began to pull away, putting Sigourney in a 11-22 hole. A timeout by Sigourney to slow down the long rally was unsuccessful as Montezuma closed out the set by winning the next three points.

“They’re the best team we’ve faced in terms of seeing the floor, Riley Gatton does an amazing job seeing the floor and they ended up tipping more than I was expecting,” Carter said. “We were expecting harder attacks like they did earlier, and we didn’t adjust well enough.”

Sigourney faced another deficit early in the third quarter but made some rallies of their own to claim a 11-9 lead. Some aces by Madelynn Hornback helped the Lady Savages establish their lead and kept the Montezuma defense off balance. Montezuma responded with another run to go up 19-14, putting more pressure on the home team.

“Before game three we talked about respecting the fact Montezuma is a great team. Basically, all year, when we’ve played good teams we play better, so we had a goal to raise our level of play to theirs,” Carter said. “Every time they got a couple points we had that focus on needing to get that next point.”

From that point on, both teams would make things entertaining by not backing down as Montezuma hoped to sweep and Sigourney hoped to force a fourth set. A strong push by the Lady Savages tied the score up at 24 with the momentum lying on their side. Sigourney would up go up a point, then Montezuma would respond with two points of their own, followed by another two by Sigourney. Neither side managed to get that one more point needed to end it until a free ball was spiked down by Montezuma to win the marathon set 32-30.

“I felt like we were flat all night, even when we were ahead, we didn’t quite have the energy we’ve had in the past,” Carter said. “We ran out of subs near the end and our serve receive struggled some more in the third set. I think if we would’ve won game three it would’ve carried into game four and hopefully we would’ve pressed them throughout that game as well.”

The Lady Savages were back on the road for a match at Lynnville-Sully on October 4 before participating in a tournament on October 6 at Washington High School.