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Lady Raiders Fall To Sterling, Recover Against Yuma

STERLING, CO.--Sidney's Lady Raider Volleyball team started their season with two road contests in Colorado, the first against Sterling on Thursday, August 24 and the second on Saturday, August 26 in Yuma.

Sidney had a slow start in the match up against Sterling, dropping the first set 13-to-25 against the talented Lady Tigers. But the Lady Raiders found their groove in the second set, pulling away for a 25-to-17 set win. Sterling turned the table in the third set, pulling away with a 25-to-18 win, but again Sidney bounced back and fought hard in the fourth set, edging Sterling 25-to-22 to set up a final fifth set. The last set was a battle, but the Lady Tigers were able to outlast the Lady Raiders for a 23-to-21 win, and a 3-to-2 match victory.

Senior Karsyn Leeling led the offense with 24 kills in the match, while senior Chloe Ahrens followed with 12 kills. Sophomore Kierra Schrader was impressive serving, scoring five aces in the match while putting up three blocks. Leeling had an impressive 27 digs in the match, and senior Payton Schrotberger fed the offense with 25 assists. Head Coach Julie Smith said after the match, "Sterling is a great team to open our season with.  Competing against them provides us with a lot of information on where we currently stand.  We saw a lot of good things from a variety of players, as well as some areas that need fine tuning."

On Saturday the Lady Raiders traveled to Yuma to take on the now nameless team. Yuma decided to drop the "Indians" mascot name, and has not yet decided on a new name (our suggestion: "The Yumans"). Sidney started the match out strong with a 25-to-18 first set win, and followed it up with a second set victory, 25-to-13. Yuma struck back, staying in system and playing solid volleyball and taking the third set 25-to-19. Yuma used that momentum to give the Lady Raiders trouble in the fourth set, and pulled out a win, 25-to-22. This set up the final set, and the Sidney girls turned it on and powered past the Yuma team for a 15-to-4 fifth set victory and a 3-to-2 match win. Smith said after the match, "Yuma is a very scrappy team and did a nice job of adjusting to what we went at them with.  It is going to be important for us to stay disciplined and control our side of the net as we progress throughout the season.  Again, we had several athletes shine in various ways.  Our serve receiving looked more dialed in and our blocking was more solid this match."

Leeling again led the offense with 23 kills and had 16 digs. Ahrens had 12 kills and 13 digs and Schrotberger had a whopping 29 assists. Junior Kayla Westby had 7 kills, 13 digs and was an impressive 11 for 11 serving. Junior Deanna Horst put up 8 blocks.

Sidney next travels to North Platte on Thursday, August 31 for a triangular with North Platte and Ogallala.


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