Lady Raiders Fall To Chadron, 3-1
Lady Raiders End Season With Disappointing Loss
October 26, 2023
BRIDGEPORT--It was a rare down season for the Lady Raiders, if you consider an 18-and-14 record to be a "down season". But for a Lady Raider squad with such a strong history, the expectation every year is a Subdistrict Title, then a District Title, and then a run for a State Championship. This year, however, was different as a start with a loss to Sterling and then a loss to Ogallala kept Sidney off-balanced for most of the season. The Lady Raiders had their win streaks, but were not able to be as dominant a unit as in previous seasons. In the middle of September it looked like the Lady Raiders were back on track when they rattled off six straight wins, but then came three straight losses, and a remainder of a season that seemed to have a loss around the corner after every big win.
The team had its big hitters like seniors Karsyn Leeling and Chloe Ahrens play well for the most part, but they had trouble playing complete matches against the better squads they faced. However, although they did not achieve their goals this season, the future again looks strong with the emergence of junior Carli Black, sophomore Kierra Schrader and the steady play of junior Kayla Westby. The team will lose key players like Leeling and Ahrens, along with standout setter Payton Schrotberger, but the team is deep with talent and will have experienced underclass and juniors stepping up into starting roles next year.
With Sidney leading the season series against Chadron 2-to-1, Monday night's Subdistrict matchup against the Lady Cardinals in Bridgeport had the makings of a fight from the start. The first set battle ended with Chadron pulling away for a 25-to-23 win. Chadron got into a groove in the second set, and had little trouble pulling away with a 25-to-18 set victory. Sidney regrouped and seemed to get a better rhythm to their play in the third set, and came back for a 25-to-19 victory. But that's all the Lady Raiders could muster, as Chadron regrouped and came out firing and took the fourth set 25-to-13 for the 3-to-1 match victory. Chadron advanced to the finals on Tuesday, while the Lady Raiders saw their season slip away. Sidney ends their season with an 18-and-14 record, and will be ready to get back to the top of the standings in C1 next season.