The Goessel volleyball team entered the Canton-Galva Invitational Tournament as the fourth seed and ended the tournament with fourth place.
The first match for the Bluebirds was against rival Moundridge. If memory serves correctly, it has been 14 seasons that Goessel has been unable to defeat the Wildcats in volleyball. The first set was close with Moundridge maintaining a slim lead until the Bluebirds snatched the advantage, 8-7. The Wildcats forced a Bluebird timeout by taking a 17-16 lead. The lead changed hands two more times and the game was tied 22-22. Two hitting errors by Moundridge and an ace by Makaila Schmidt gave the Bluebirds the win in the first set, 25-22.
The Wildcats took the lead in set two. The Bluebirds would get as close as 6-7, but would never cut the deficit late in the game by less than 3 points as Moundridge won set two 25-19.
Errors in the Bluebird passing game allowed the Wildcats to jump out to a 10-4 lead in the third set.
The Bluebirds battled back and kills by Paige Booton and Tia Goertzen with Alex Hiebert serving, gave Goessel a 16-15 lead forcing Moundridge into a timeout. Hitting errors by the Wildcats allowed Goessel to score 4 consecutive points to take a 20-16 lead, forcing a frustrated Wildcat team to take their second time out.
Moundridge took little time to tie the score at 21 and then it was a battle to the finish. Two kills by Booton and a block at the net by Hiebert gave the Bluebirds a 26-24 win, ending the losing streak against the Wildcats.
Goessel faced a taller Hillsboro team in the second match of the tournament. Serving errors for both teams dominated the first part of the game as the game was tied 5-5. The Trojans built a steady lead, which the Bluebirds were unable match and Hillsboro walked away with the first set 25-15.
Goessel stayed close with Hillsboro in the second set. The Bluebirds trailed 10-6, when Goessel scored six consecutive points to take a 12-10 lead. Each team traded points for a while and the Bluebirds remained ahead of the highly ranked Trojans, 22-18. But Hillsboro began scoring 2 points for every Bluebird score and with Goessel ahead 24-22, Hillsboro was able to snatch the match with 4 consecutive points, winning 26-24.
In the last match of pool play, Goessel faced the host team Canton-Galva. Goessel jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but mistakes by the Bluebirds allowed the game to be tied at 15. With Goessel stuck on 18 points, the Eagles went on a tear and led 23-18 before the Bluebirds could get back on track. Goessel played well to end the first set with a win, 27-25.
In the second set, the game was tied at 12 before the Bluebirds began to score in bunches. The Eagles were not able to keep up as Goessel won 25-18.
The Bluebirds faced the winners of Pool B, and found the Dragons from Halstead too much to handle in the middle of the afternoon. Halstead dominated 25-9 and 25-11.
In the match for third place, Goessel faced Hesston. The Bluebirds were hoping for success as they bolted to a 10-6 lead. The Swathers were able to score seven points in a row taking a 13-10 lead and the Bluebirds kept trying to battle back, but remained 2 to 3 points behind as Hesston won the first set, 25-21.
The second set was close the whole game as both teams led by as many as 4 points. The score was tied at 23 and Goessel won the next point, hoping for one more. The Swathers were able to score three in a row to win the match, 26-24.
After the tournament Hesston coach Guhr commented, “I was proud that we battled so well this morning, and was disappointed in our lack of battle in the afternoon. This was a very tough tournament.”
Because of a power outage on Tuesday, the Goessel home varsity games with Wakefield and Hope will play this Thursday. Thursday’s games are the last two matches that count in league standings and the Bluebirds hope to clinch first place with two wins.
Goessel will travel to Solomon for matches on Tuesday. The Bluebirds end the week with an overall record of 14-10 and a Wheat State League record of 6-0.