Goessel ended an outstanding season with a loss to Caldwell in the sub-state championship match Saturday at Cunningham.
The Bluebirds made it to the title match by beating Lucas-Luray, 15-12, 15-9, in the semifinals.
Becky Schroeder and Jessica Graber went 14-for-14 and 13-for-13 respectively in serving. Tara Goerzen had 22 assists and Melinda Stucky led with 13 kills.
In the championship bout against Caldwell, Goessel finished on the short end, 7-15, 4-15.
Lindsey Unruh led the team with five kills, and Shannon Schmidt led in digs. As a team, Goessel missed only one serve.
“We didn’t play our best match, but we didn’t fold either,” coach Sandy Banman said of the Caldwell loss. “We struggled to score early in each match, so we had to dig ourselves out of a hole.
“Caldwell had some good hitters and as the match went on we got better at digging up their spikes.”
Banman said she and the team had mixed feelings about the season.
“It was very disappointing to lose because we had a goal of returning to state for three years in a row,” she said. “However, we had a great season at 30-5-the best record that a Goessel volleyball team has ever had.
“Our losses came from three different teams-two that are in the state tournament and another that should be.”
Regionals-The Bluebirds won the regional title at Burrton Tuesday, Oct. 22, with wins over Little River and Stafford.
After receiving a bye in the first round, the Bluebird defeated Little River, 15-11, 15-8, in the semifinals.
Becky Schroeder led the team in serving, going 21-for-21 with three aces. Lindsey Unruh led in digs with 15.
“Tara Goerzen did a good job of setting,” said coach Sandy Banman.
In the championship match, Goessel prevailed in three games, 3-15, 15-1, 15-8.
“We came out flat in the first game against Stafford, but the girls did an awesome job of coming out and taking control of games two and three,” Banman said.
“Jessica Graber served well and played good defense leading in digs with,” she added. “Shannon Schmidt also served well.”
Melinda Stucky led hitters with 13 kills.
“We had various people making some great plays and that really kept us going,” Banman said. “We really wanted to come out of there as regional champs, not just get to substate as a second-place finisher.”
The Cougars ended their season with a loss in the first round of the regional tournament held at Centre Oct. 22.
The Cougars, seeded fourth, lost to Hamilton, the fifth seed at 8-17, in three games: 12-15, 15-3, 13-15.
Laura Klenda led Centre’s attack with 31 successful hits in 40 attempts, including 18 kills. Brianne Stahlecker was 41-for-42 setting the ball and Rachelle Jirak was 15-for-16.
For the match, the team served successfully 65 times in 71 attempts.