Sidney volley gains key road win

Kirt Manion
Hamburg Reporter

A five-set battle against a senior laden Johnson-Brock team resulted in a major victory and significant momentum for the Sidney volleyball team in a road match on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The Cowgirls entered the gym at Johnson looking for a spark to ignite their season. They got that spark, but they had to work for it.

Sidney jumped to a 25-18 first set win and had a six point second set advantage, cruising to what appeared to be a match controlling victory, but Johnson-Brock capitalized on some Sidney errors and began to turn the tables.

“I think that gave them the momentum going into the third set,” said Sidney Coach Amy McClintock. “Our passing and communication became a little too lax.”

Johnson-Brock would take the second set and the third set of the match, inching toward victory.

The fourth set was no easy task as both teams traded the momentum, but Sidney was able to stem the tide and keep the match going with a 25-22 fourth set win.

“The difference for us was when we started passing consistently and quit making hitting errors,” said McClintock.

In a race to 15 and the match, Sidney had to once again answer a number of challenges, including facing match point, but the Cowgirls won eventually, 18-15.

Coach McClintock said the match was a bit of an unknown as far as what Johnson-Brock would bring. She said the Cowgirls were plenty aware of the talent on the other side of the net Tuesday.

“I didn't really know what to expect from Johnson-Brock, but they are senior loaded and they are much improved from the past two years that we have played them,” said McClintock. “They are tall, pass well, and can hit the ball.”

A victory for Sidney in that circumstance was big, even this early in the season.

“I definitely think this was a game in which the girls learned a lot about themselves,” said McClintock. “They didn't panic or fold when we were down several times with set point the fifth set. Time again, we answered and showed resiliency and some mental toughness which I did not see over this last week.

“Everyone worked together and stayed focused. Our defense is getting better and our hitters are starting to make adjustments,” said McClintock.

The timing of the match win was good as well.

 “It was a good win for us going into our home game (Senior Night) on Thursday against Stanton,” said McClintock. “We have replaced some very talented girls from last year's graduating class which had a high volleyball IQ and a competitive spirit.

“I am starting to see that carry over,” she said. “We have a lot of youth and inexperience at the varsity level this year, but the girls looked like a whole different team than what they showed on Saturday. I hope we can keep building on those positives and I think we are starting to get where we need to go.”

In another note from Tuesday, the Cowgirls celebrated in the post match with cupcakes in honor of Fallon Sheldon’s 15th birthday.

Looking at the stats, three Cowgirls hit for double-digit kills. Harley Spurlock had 15, Kaden Payne had 11, and Eve Brumbaugh had 10.

Block leaders were Spurlock, four; Payne, four; and Alyson Barker, three.

Set assist leaders were Keeley Mount, 30; and Faith Brumbaugh, 20.

Dig leaders were Emily Hutt, 24; Paige Smith, 18; Makenna Laumann,, 16; and Lily Johnson, 12.