Silverhawks defeat the Cats

Millard West volleyball loses state to Lincoln Southwest


Photo by Anna Burton

“We were proud that this team and group of seniors led us to our 12th straight appearance at the state tournament,” head coach Joe Wessel said. “We did some great things but just came up short. I think we made it an exciting game in sets 3 and 4. Next year we have to replace some great seniors but we look forward to getting back to training and helping these student athletes continue to buy into the Wildcat way.”

Reece Straley, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday Nov. 2, the varsity volleyball team took on the Lincoln Southwest Silverhawks in a first round playoff matchup. The Silverhawks came into the state finals at the number two seed while the Wildcats came in as the seventh seed. 

The first set started off very even between both teams. The score stayed even as both teams were tied at 4 and then 7. Lincoln Southwest would have some clutch plays to gain a comfortable lead. The Hawks went up 20-12 and soon would take the first set 25-15 to put them up 1-0 going into the second. 

“We knew coming in we were a bit of an underdog,” head coach Joe Wessel said. “But we felt we matched up well with Lincoln SW and were proud of how the team approached the game and they left it all out on the floor.”

The second set Millard West gained some momentum to keep it close. They were within one at crucial moments in the second set only trailing 15-14 midway through the set. It would be a back and forth with both teams being tied for basically the whole set. Lincoln Southwest would retake the lead and get a few points from West’s errors to win the second set 25-23 and go up 2-0 in the game. 

The third set was all Wildcats. Millard West really started to gain some momentum as a whole and capitalize on big plays. They held a comfortable lead for essentially the whole set and went up 19-12 and 24-16. West would close it out to win their first set 25-16 to put the game at 2-1 Silverhawks.

“We knew we had to find shots during the match,” senior Alanna Bankston said. “Certain things to get them out of the system that would put us at an advantage also being aggressive and not being afraid to take a hard swing because we know that power was the main key to winning.

The fourth set stayed with the Wildcats as they held another comfortable lead in this set. Even though Lincoln Southwest got the first point the Cats rallied back. They would control this set to put them in a better position in the game. The Cats would absolutely dominate the fourth set 25-14 and tie the game 2-2.

The final set started off with both teams battling to advance to the next round. The teams were tied 3-3 before the Hawks took over 5-3 and then 11-5. Millard West would not be able to make a comeback as Lincoln Southwest controlled the final set. With a failed block from Millard West the Silverhawks would win the game 15-7 and advance to the next round of playoffs.

“I think that we learned a lot this season,” junior Lauren Jones said. “In the beginning, we really struggled because we were such a new team and didn’t trust each other on the court. But as the season went on we gained trust and confidence in each other and that really helped us at districts, which I think was the best game we played this season.”

Millard West ended the season 23-11 overall and 15-7 in district games. Despite being knocked out in the first round they had an amazing season and one to remember. The girls are ready and preparing for next season where they hope to win the championship.