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Lady Raiders Are Runners-Up at Western Conference Tournament

SIDNEY-The Lady Raider Volleyball team was able to get back on the winning track on Saturday, hosting the Western Conference Tournament and matching up against Mitchell, Gering and Scottsbluff. But at the end of the day, the Lady Raiders fell to the Scottsbluff Lady Bearcats for the second time in as many weeks, and had to settle for runner-up honors.

Sidney started off with a match against Mitchell, a team they had defeated three times already this season. The Lady Raiders again had no difficulty against the Lady Tigers, putting them down in straight sets, 25-to-9 and 25-to-14. Senior Karsyn Leeling led with 9 kills in the match, while senior Payton Schrotberger led with 8 assists.

Next up were the Gering Lady Bulldogs, and the Lady Raiders were able to avenge an earlier loss in the season with a 2-to-1 match win. Sidney took the first set 25-to-21, but Gering regrouped in the second set and put down the Lady Raiders 25-to-22. Sidney was able to recover and play a solid third set, and outlasted Gering for the 25-to-21 third set and match victory. Leeling again led with 19 kills and Schrotberger led with 19 assists. Junior Kayla Westby had 25 digs in the victory.

In their third match, the Lady Raiders matched up with Scottsbluff, who they had lost to on September 26 in Scottsbluff, 3-to-1. In this match, the early going was similar to their first match up, with Sidney taking a 25-to-20 first set victory, only to see Scottsbluff came back in the second set with a 25-to-22 victory, and then the third set 25-to-20 for the 2-to-1 match victory. Leeling again led with 9 kills and senior Chloe Ahrens had 7 kills. Schrotberger had 22 assists and Westby had 22 serve receptions in the loss.

After the tournament, Sidney Head Coach Julie Smith said, "Overall, the girls played well at the conference tournament this weekend.  The energy on and off the court was consistently at a level where we play our best ball.  They continue to make improvements in blocking, as we had a lot more touches and blocks on Saturday.  Coverage, serve receive, and limiting unforced errors are areas that we will continue to focus on.  Serving aggressively, with consistency, is something that we will continue to drill as we move towards our final regular season games."

Sidney had to settle for runner-up honors, while Scottsbluff went undefeated to take first place. Alliance took third place, followed by Gering in fourth, Chadron in fifth and Mitchell in sixth place.

Sidney was scheduled to host Chadron on Tuesday for Senior Night, and then host Bayard on Thursday.


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