The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Sidney finishes strong in loss to Chase County


Down two sets to none and trailing 24-22 in the third set at Chase County's home gym, the Raiders volleyball team called time out. That must have been when they decided they weren't going to go down without a fight.

Whether as simply stated as Yogi's, "It isn't over 'til its over," or as poetic as Dylan Thomas' "Don't go gentle into that good night," Sidney refused to leave Imperial without showing a little bit of what they are made of.

Though the Raiders (6-5) fell to the Longhorns (8-3) in straight sets at Imperial the young team dug in late before dropping the final set in overtime 28-26. The Raiders had earlier conceded the first two sets 25-18 and 25-16.

This had been Sidney's second consecutive match against the Longhorns. At the neutral site of McCook on Saturday, the Raiders defeated this same foe 2-0. By virtue of that victory, the Raiders earned third place at McCook's tournament.

Freshman Maddi Porter was back in the libero's red jersey the entire night after swapping on occassions with Sarah Mahr in recent matches. Mahr played libero in the first of three matches at the McCook tournament.

"I like playing libero, but I'm ready to do what's needed," Porter said.

As for the match Porter added, "We hit a lot into the net. We had too many unforced errors tonight."

After Sidney's final timeout in set three - with Chase County holding the serve - senior hitter Abbi Porter went to work. With the assistance of Rowley and Emily Mahr sets, she rifled home three kills in a four-point stretch to extend the match.

Ultimately, however, the Longhorns prevailed in what was a close set from the start. There were 14 ties in the final set while Sidney never led by more than three. Chase County's biggest lead was the final score.

In game one the Raiders were playing catch up from the start. Several times they trailed by five or six points before they were able to reel the Longhorns back in. At 14-9, kills by Rowley, and Abbi Porter and a nice tip to open space by Annalise Lecher brought the game back to two.

Though the Raiders were never able to get closer than two points, it was not for lack of effort. Vanessa Riley's dive on a dig attempt only prolonged a lost point at 20-17.

"I think everybody on our team just needs that little extra confidence boost. That one big hit. That one big dig," said Rowley.

In the second set the Raiders jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and maintained a slight advantage throughout the game's early going. Several ties were broken with authority by Sidney during the set. Rosenbaum blocked a Longhorn kill attempt for a Sidney point at 7-7. Two points later Rowley and Sarah Mahr followed eachother with kills to the Chase County back court.

Midway through the set, however, the Longhorns slowly began to gain the edge. Once the the home side gained the advantage after a 13-13 tie, they never again trailed. The team from Imperial finished out set two on a 12-3 run.

Despite highlights thrown in by Abbi Porter and Rosenbaum, little else went the Raiders way. Porter threw down another of her patented slams to the back line. Meanwhile Rosenbaum blocked another Longhorn kill attempt that fell harmlessly at the feet of the would be Imperial killer.

Abbi Porter and Rowley pounded home 14 and 11 kills respectively during the match. Sarah Mahr three down eight kills and Rosenbaum four. Rosenbaum's work at the net included a team-high three blocks . Mahr and Maddi Porter led the squad in digs with 20 and 18. Rowley was good for another 10. Rowley (19) and Emily Mahr (16) were tops in set assists.

The Raiders are on the road again on Thursday when they head to Gering (4-9) for a triangular match. Kimball (6-6) will join the party which is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.


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