Lady Raiders Go 2-2 For Week
Pull "Reverse Sweep" on Chadron and Defeat North Platte
October 19, 2023
SIDNEY- The Lady Raider Volleyball team continued through another tough stretch in their season, facing an undefeated team, a Class A team, the number two ranked C1 team in the state and a rival team they had lost to at the end of September. Four matches that the Lady Raiders cannot be too disappointed to have split over the week.
The week started on Tuesday, and the first match was against the rival they had lost to at the end of September, Chadron. Unlike the previous loss, this was a best-of-five match, not a best-of-three tournament-play match. Even better for the Lady Raiders, the match was at home. The first two sets were battles, with neither team pulling away very far before the other narrowed the gap. The Lady Cardinals had very strong net play, and covered the court well, challenging Sidney for every point. In a tight first set, the Lady Cardinals were able to put together the final two points and won 26-to-24. The second set was again a tight battle, and the Lady Cardinals were able to outlast Sidney and take the second set 25-to-22. Down 0-to-2, Sidney needed to regroup and come out firing, and they did, playing a very strong set and winning 25-to-17, putting themselves back in the match. The teams battled hard through the fourth set, but this time it was Sidney that was able to put together the final string of points, and the 25-to-22 set victory tied the match at 2 sets each, forcing a fifth set. The teams slugged it out, and it took extra points for Sidney to secure the 16-to-14 fifth set victory, giving the Lady Raiders the 3-to-2 match win. Senior Karsyn Leeling powered the offense with 25 kills, sophomore Kiera Schrader delivered 4 ace serves, junior Deanna Horst had 5 blocked shots in the match and senior Payton Schrotberger had 22 assists for Sidney. After the match, Head Coach Julie Smith said, "I was extremely proud of the grit and composure that the girls demonstrated throughout the game. You gotta love a reverse sweep--especially when we are the ones doing the sweeping!"
On Thursday, the Lady Raiders hosted the undefeated team, the 23-and-0 Lady Tigers of Bayard. Although a C2 team, the Bayard squad is one of the most talented and athletic in the state, only dropping 9 sets in their 23 match victories this season. Sidney was ready for the challenge, and a hectic first set needed extra points to settle, with Bayard coming out on top 26-to-24. Bayard continued their strong play while the Lady Raiders kept pace, but the Lady Tigers were again able to surge at the end of the set and took a 2-to-0 lead on a 25-to-23 second set victory. For the second straight match, Sidney found themselves in an 0-to-2 hole, and battled their way back in the third set. Sidney needed extra points to take the set, but avoided the sweep with the 27-to-25 third set victory. Sidney tried to keep the momentum rolling in the fourth set, but Bayard was able to outlast the Lady Raiders, and took the fourth set 25-to-22 for the 3-to-1 match victory. Leeling again led the offense with 20 kills, Schrader had 6 ace serves and Schrotberger had 22 assists in the loss.
Saturday had the Lady Raiders traveling to a North Platte for a triangular with the Lady Bulldogs and the Kearney Catholic Lady Stars. Against the number 2 ranked C1 team in the state, Sidney had trouble handling their strong hitting and challenging serves. The Lady Stars showed their superior net play, with their long front court making it difficult for Sidney front line to get kills through the defense. Kearney Catholic did a great job of placing strong and accurate shots all around the court, and the Lady Raiders were challenged in returning many of the Lady Star hits. Kearney Catholic did not have much trouble with the Lady Raiders in the first set, taking it 25-to- 14. In the second set, the Lady Raiders were more comfortable on the court and started trying multiple types of shots to find Kearney Catholic weaknesses. The Sidney squad was successful for much of the second set, after falling behind early. The Lady Raiders matched points with the Lady Stars for much of the second set. At 19-to-19, Kearney Catholic went on a run that brought them to match point at 24-to-19. Sidney was able to hold off two match points, but then finally fell 25-to-21 for the 0-to-2 loss. The Kearney Catholic team limited Sidney to just 17 kills and 16 assists in the match.
Sidney did get their other win of the week against the Class A team, the North Platte Lady Bulldogs. The North Platte squad had struggled this year, coming into the match with Sidney with just 6 wins on the season. Sidney saw their opportunity to knock off a Class A team, and didn't let it pass. The Lady Raiders came out strong and pulled away from North Platte with a 25-to-19 first set victory. The Lady Bulldogs aren't without talent on their team, and were able to turn the tables on Sidney in the second set, pulling away fro a 25-to-13 victory. Sidney was able to regroup and refocus, and played a very good third set, and went on a roll late to put away North Platte with a convincing 25-to-15 set win for the 2-to-1 match victory. Sidney's record moves to 18-and-13, putting them in third place in C1 District 12. Sidney gets ready for the District Tournament next week with an away match against Gering on Tuesday, October 17.