Goessel and Little River met for the third time on Oct. 12 and this time the volleyball match went three games with Little River coming up winners in a close third game.
In game one, Goessel led 17-10 but the Redskins tied at 17 and Goessel scratched out a 25-22 win.
The Bluebirds fell behind in game two but a late surge was not enough and Little River finished on top, 25-21.
In the third game, the Bluebirds fell behind, 8-17. In a valiant rally, Goessel tied the game at 22. With the score 23-23, Kendra Flaming left the game with a knee injury and Little River won the deciding game, 25-23.
Goessel also played Ellinwood. In the process of making adjustments without senior Flaming, the Bluebirds stayed close for part of game one, but faded at the end with a 19-25 loss.
In the second game, Goessel slowly lost momentum and lost again, 18-25.
On Saturday, the Bluebirds took their number-one seed to the Wheat State League Tournament.
In pool play, Goessel took care of business defeating Wakefield, 25-15 and 25-19.
Against Centre, the Bluebirds got off to a slow start in the first game, but eventually won 25-19.
In the second game, Goessel was aggressive at the net on offense and defense, scoring the last six points to win, 25-12.
Against Peabody-Burns, the Bluebirds worked out of a deficit in game one and went on a 14-2 run with Makaila Schmidt serving and Paige Booton and Alex Hiebert playing well at the net. They won that game, 25-18.
Again, the Bluebirds came from behind in game two. Jenn Van Horn came up with two key blocks late in the game and Tia Goertzen hit a winner, 26-24.
The three wins put the Bluebirds into bracket play where they defeated Elyria Christian, 25-15 and 25-15.
In the finals, Goessel met Little River for the fourth time this season. In game one, the Bluebirds lost, 25-18. The second game was a battle for survival. Goessel never trailed and came out ahead, 25-15, forcing a deciding third game to determine the league tournament champion.
It was a classic championship matchup. Goessel called timeout with the score 10-10 and forced a Little River timeout as the Bluebirds jumped out to a 17-13 lead. The game was tied at 23-23, but Little River outlasted the Bluebirds in the 26-24 win.
Saturday stats showed that Booton led the team with 40 kills and 37 digs. Van Horn was credited with 11 blocks. Schmidt led the team with 12 aces for the day and Aimee Flaming led with 78 assists and 55 of 56 successful serves.
Even after graduating four key players from last year, this year’s team has been extremely competitive.
“Eventually hard work pays off. This year’s team has put a great amount of time and effort into volleyball,” said Coach Crysta Guhr. “Our two seniors (Jennifer Van Horn and Kendra Flaming) have stepped into leadership roles this year and done fantastic. I am so proud of them.”
Goessel’s next contest is Saturday at substate in Burrton. The winner will advance to state competition Oct. 29 and 30 in Hays.