Sigourney gets big win at home

Sloane Magill and Makenna Hammes helped Sigourney stand tall in their defeat of English Valleys on Sept. 25. 

The Savages up and down volleyball season continued when they faced off against English Valleys on Monday, Sept. 25. Nothing has come easy for Sigourney this season, and with the number of matches winding down, each win is a must. The Savages got the result they needed, beating E.V. in three sets.

Sigourney started the match off sluggish, a trend in a majority of their games this year. With E.V. taking an early 9-2 lead, Sigourney called a timeout to gather themselves and assure each other it was still early. The brief break helped spark a rally from the Savages, making plays on offense and forcing E.V. to make errors along the way.

"At the time out we just talked about what we needed to do," Savage coach Chris Carter said. "We had to pass better and we needed to refocus on the fundamentals."

The Savages didn't take control until late in the first set, when Brooke Waechter and Sloane Magill began to score with kills. The key for them was finding a way to get their shots around the E.V. front line, led by Audrey Grove and Cheyenne Conrad, both over six feet tall.

The blockers had their moments, specifically Grove, earning some kills and blocking some big shots to keep the score close. Sigourney wound up taking the first set 25-19, taking the lead and momentum into the following set.

"We knew that when Audrey was in the front row that we'd have to be on our toes," Carter said. "We took advantage of when she was in the back row. Any tight ball our blockers could get, they needed to put a tight block up."

Groves helped E.V. get another lead to start the set, but the Lady Bears couldn't hold off the Savages for long. Sigourney looked like they'd run away and take a 2-0 lead, but E.V. had other plans, closing the gap to a mere four points. Sigourney held strong, enduring the rally, and ended the set, 25-20.

The third set was a better start for the Savages, as they got the lead and continued to hold on for most of the set. For the most part E.V. was kept at a distance, but near the end they scored a string of points off missed Sigourney kills. The rally made things interesting, but it wasn't enough, as the Savages took the set 25-20.

"Our back row played phenomenal, getting the ball where it needed to go," said Lady Bears coach Becky Becker. "We need to have more up front than Audrey. When that happens, we win."

The frontline for the Savages was a difference maker all night long, churning out 34 kills and four blocks. Waechter led the way with 12 kills and two blocks in the three sets. Makenna Hammes and Leah Carter also had big contributions at the net, finishing with six kills each and Leah adding on two blocks.

Magill, normally one of the top killers on the team, was a bigger factor at the service line. There, she had the most serves at 17, and 14 successful serves. She also produced three aces, including one to end the match.  

"I think in the end our aggressiveness paid off," Carter said. "We played well as a team, a lot of people contributed in different areas and we didn't get frustrated."

For Sigourney, it was a great way for the high school to start their Homecoming week. The girls had a week off before hosting HLV on October 2.

Although E.V. took the loss, they still had some quality performances on the floor. It was known Groves would be a leader, which she did with nine kills and two digs. Mallory Hester, also a senior leader, ended up with seven assists, seven digs and missed once on 13 serves. Jessie Armstrong was perfect on 14 serves, also chipping in with three assists and two digs.

"Our weakness is our inability to finish games," Becker said. "We have the ability to, we just can't. Now we'll go to the drawing board to make that happen."

The Lady Bears fell below .500 on the season, but looked to make corrections at a tournament in New London on Sept. 30.