Lady Chieftains 4th at State Volleyball
By REX ZIMMERMAN
There were plenty of tears to go around for everyone Saturday afternoon as the South Barber Lady Chieftains had just lost their 3rd place match with defending state champion Goessel at the 1A, Div. I State Volleyball Championships in Hays.
Sad, yes, but when this team looks back on what they have accomplished, they can feel pretty proud. Finishing fourth at State ain’t too bad. Neither are a 36-6 season record and some nice medals to show for it.
Additional honors were seniors Bailey Roberts and Anna Perez being named to the 12-member All-State Tournament Team. – Bailey as a setter and Anna as libero. Other seniors playing their final match as Lady Chieftains were Madison Polson and Emily Rugg.
This was just the second Lady Chieftain team ever to make it to State, the first being the 1998 team that was undefeated during the regular season but didn’t make it to Saturday’s finals.
This South Barber team did make it to the championship round after going 2-1 in Friday’s pool play to finish second to Goessel.
The Lady Chiefs, seeded 3rd, opened play against 6th seed Lebo and used good serving by Emily Rugg and Anna Perez, and kills by Madison Polson and juniors Idallis Shaffer and Kaleigh Velasquez to pull out to an early lead in the first set. Lebo battled back, but down the stretch more good serving by Bailey Roberts and sophomore Bryn Rathgeber kept South Barber out in front and they went on to win 25-20. In the second set, the Lady Chieftains got more good play from Madison Polson and outstanding defense from Rathgeber and Perez to pull away to a 25-15 win to take the match.
South Barber next faced 7th seed Dighton and managed to pull away late in both sets to win 25-21, 25-20 to guarantee their place in Saturday’s championship round.
In Friday’s final match, the Lady Chiefs played once beaten Goessel. They played well, but had trouble with the Bluebird hitters to fall 20-25 in the first set and 17-25 in the second.
Saturday’s first semifinal match pitted South Barber against 5th seed Hanover, which had been on a roll ever since handing Centralia its first loss of the season in the opening round.
South Barber got five quick points from Morgan Polson to lead 11-4, but Hanover battled back and managed to win the first set 20-25. The Lady Chiefs fell behind early in the second set and just couldn’t catch up as Hanover took the set and match by a 16-25 score.
Saturday’s third place battle saw South Barber face the hard-hitting Goessel ladies once more, and the Bluebird’s size at the net was again a factor. Coach Steve Roberts saw his team battle their hearts out, but Goessel won the first set 10-25 then took the second by a 17-25 score to give the Lady Chieftains the 4th place medals.