The Wheat State League volleyball season began with a tough match with Centre. The Bluebirds gained control in the first set after falling behind 7-5 at Elyria. With Page Hiebert serving, the Bluebirds rattled off 10 consecutive points to take a commanding 15-7 lead. Goessel finished the game with a score of 25-10.
In the second game, the Bluebirds jumped out to a 5-0 lead with Erin Brubaker serving. The Cougars fought back, getting as close as 8-7. Several Centre hitting errors gave the Bluebirds a 13-7 lead, but the Cougars kept the game close.
With Goessel ahead 21-16, something sparked within the Centre team and Goessel lost their focus as the Cougars tied the game at 21 and went on to lead 24-22. With their backs against the wall, Erin Brubaker finished a kill and Alyssa Booton was able to serve two aces as the Bluebirds came from behind to win the game 26-24.
Against the host team, Elyria Christian, Goessel dominated. The Bluebirds jumped out to a 9-2 lead and led by that margin for most of the first game. Goessel won game one 25-16. In the second set, the story was much the same with Goessel finishing by a score of 25-11.
4-1 at home tournament
As the Saturday tournament in Goessel came to a close, the three leading teams all ended the day with a record of 4-1. Halstead defeated Sedgwick in pool play; Sedgwick defeated Goessel in the semifinal match, and Sedgwick defeated Halstead in the championship game. All three of those matches were decided in three sets.
The Bluebirds began the day with a dominating performance with Canton-Galva by defeating the Eagles 25-13 and 25-14. The Bluebirds had a similarly easy time with South Haven, winning in two sets 25-10 and 25-19. Against Central Christian from Hutchinson, Goessel struggled a bit in the first set but went on to win 25-18 and 25-11.
In the semifinals, the Bluebirds got a lead, then trailed for only a few minutes before taking control. Erin Brubaker was effective with tipping the ball over the blockers and Goessel took a 10-8 lead.
The Cardinals struggled a bit with passing the ball and the Bluebirds forced a Sedgwick time-out with a lead 13-9. Page Hiebert got a block, Gentry Thiesen earned a kill, Alicen Meysing served two aces and Sedgwick took another time-out behind 18-11.
Because of the rivalry of the two programs, Goessel fans were nervous as Sedgwick began to cut the deficit. Freshman, Olivia Duerksen got a point on a block with Brubaker getting several more points from hits and the Bluebirds were up 23-17. Before Goessel could score the final two points, Sedgwick had found a way to score four but Goessel won the set 25-21.
Goessel got the early advantage in the second set. With Thiesen serving, Meysing got a kill and Sedgwick struggled returning hits. Goessel led 6-3 with Page Hiebert getting a nice pass from Alyssa Booton to earn another point. Booton and Duerksen got another block on the Cardinal hitters and Sedgwick called time-out to regroup.
Goessel led 12-4 when the tide turned. The Goessel crowd went silent, waiting for a point. Sedgwick earned nine consecutive points to lead 13-12. Outscoring the Bluebirds 10-3, Sedgwick seemed to coast to a win 25-19.
Although Sedgwick took an early 7-2 lead in game three, the Bluebirds would get as close as 13-10. Makayla King, in the back row, would get under many Cardinal hits to keep the ball in play, but it seemed that Sedgwick always had an answer for every hit that Goessel’s front line could muster. With Goessel trailing 17-13, it appeared the Bluebirds ran out of gas as the Cardinals won the third set 25-13.
In the third-place match, Goessel again faced Canton-Galva. Goessel escaped with a win in game one 25-23. The second set was a bit easier as Goessel captured third place with a 25-17 win.