Lady Chieftains End Season Just One Match Short of State Trip


Idallis Shaffer set the ball up for a teammate


Just one game away. That’s how the South Barber Lady Chieftains ended an outstanding volleyball season Saturday as they just fell short of a trip to the State Tournament.

The Lady Chiefs made it to the championship match of the 1A Div. II Sub-state at Attica but lost a battle to host Attica in the finals to finish their season with a 25-10 record. It was a tough sub-state to be sure, as three teams – South Barber, Attica and Norwich – all had over 20 wins for the season. It was also the final matches for seniors Nicole Blick and Kori Leech.

Top Eagle in Two

After receiving a first round bye, South Barber opened play Saturday against a very tough Norwich team and came away with the victory in two straight sets.

The ladies jumped out to a 13-6 lead early in the first match on good serving by Kaleigh Velasquez and Bryn Rathgeber, front line play by Idallis Shaffer, Morgan Polson and Madison Polson, and nice back line play from Nicole Blick, Emily Rugg and Anna Perez, but Norwich battled back to take a 21-18 lead late in the contest. Norwich was just one point away from a win, but big points by Bailey Roberts and Madison Polson and strong serves from Emily Rugg and Anna Perez pulled the Lady Chieftains even at 24-all. Anna Perez served for a 25-24 lead, then Kaleigh Velasquez got a kill for the final 26-24 win.

In the second set, South Barber again took an early lead only to again have the Lady Eagles knot the score at 12-all. From that point on, however, the Lady Chiefs played well and were in control until late in the set when Norwich made it a 21-20 score. Serving by Bryn Rathgeber and two straight kills by Nicole Blick sealed the 25-20 win.

No Luck vs Attica

After the emotional win over Norwich, the Lady Chiefs faced Attica in the finals and just couldn’t quite find the same energy against the Lady Bulldogs. Attica jumped out to a 12-5 lead to open the first set and some nice scoring at the net by Idallis Shaffer and Madison Polson weren’t enough to offset the strong hitting by Attica as they won 25-17.

Coach Steve Roberts and assistant Sammi Inman had their squad fired up for the second set and the ladies jumped out to a 4-2 lead on a kill by Nicole Blick, but Attica went on a 10-3 run to take command and the Lady Chiefs just never could catch up, falling by a 24-14 score to end their season.