Missing a ‘killer instinct’
SIGOURNEY — For the second time this year, the Sigourney volleyball team came from behind to edge Keota.
Last time it trailed 2-1. Tuesday it was down 1-0 before winning three games in a row.
Sigourney junior Jordan Carter started strong with two kills in the first two points.
Keota responded with a 5-0 run off of four serves from junior Brooke Sieren in the only lead change of the game.
After the Eagles stretched the lead to 10-5, the Savages would get no closer than two points the rest of the way.
Keota took the first set 25-22. The second set was even closer. Keota took its first lead at 8-7.
The 11-11 tie was the fifth tie of the game. There were eight in the game.
A kill from junior Madison Sheetz gave her team the biggest lead of the game at 20-16. Keota had a 22-18 lead when Keota mounted a comeback.
The score was knotted at 24, when Sheetz had a kill. Sigourney scored the next three points to knot the score. The game ended with Sheetz hitting the ball into the net.
“We didn’t have it down the stretch,” said head coach Dan Stout. “I told the girls when it got tough and adversity got against us we didn’t play like a team like we had been.”
Keota had a chance to take a pivotal 2-0 lead, but there was a mental block.
“The game, not the match, it‘s ++such a momentum sport. We have done that this year. We talked to the girls about mental toughness. The group we had out there wasn’t mentally tough. Some of them were volleyball stuff we can work on. Some of it was mental stuff the kids can work on.”
Unfortunately for Keota, it didn’t have the leader or player to finish off the second set.
“It’s a killer instinct,” Stout said. “You want to finish somebody off. This is the only match we weren’t able to do it.”
Keota had a brief lead at 9-7 in the third set a 25-18 loss, and fell 25-13 to drop the match.
“Games one and two we came out and played well,” Stout said. “It hurt losing game two in the fashion that we did, because we were ahead down the stretch. It got the momentum going on their side. They were able to continue playing.”
Sheetz had a team-high 17 kills and senior Kelsi Sieren had 12. Sheetz and junior Brooke Sieren led their team with 18 digs, each.
Sophomore Abby Schulte had 31 assists.
Junior Maggie Baker had one block. B. Sieren had three aces and served 16-for-17.
The Eagles didn’t have their best showing in the first-round game.
“They were pretty good hitters,” Sheetz said. “We could have played better defense. As a team we needed to talk more.”
It took Iowa Valley (20-7) to four sets in the season finale but couldn’t replicate that performance in the postseason.
“We had a pretty good game against Iowa Valley,” Sheetz. “We all thought coming into this we would play like that.”
Keota returns eight juniors to a team that finished 15-9, and loses just one senior, Kelsi Sieren.
“Kelsi had an amazing game,” Sheetz said. “It is tough for her to lose her last game.” “We will definitely miss our middle hitter.”