So close. Following an outstanding season and an impressive run in the postseason, the Garner-Hayfield/Ventura volleyball team fell in a Class 3A Regional semifinal to Sheldon on Tuesday night, Nov. 5, in Estherville.
The Cardinals gave it their all, but in the end they found out how the Orabs earned their number two rating.
“Sheldon ran a quick offense and we were unable to get our side clicking,” said Coach Kelsey Steffens.
Sheldon won the game in three sets with scores of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-15.
GHV was trailing by only three points late in the first set, before the Orabs knocked down six consecutive points on their way to the win. The same thing happened in the second set, with the Cardinals down by two and Sheldon firing off six of the final seven points.
The Cardinals didn’t give up and managed a 15-13 lead in the third set, before some strong serving by Sheldon put the game out of reach.
“This game does not define the girls, as they had a fantastic season with great accomplishments,” said Steffens.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was Emily Mathews. Mathews managed to put down 14 kills against a strong Sheldon front line. She also had one and one-half blocks and three points on serve.
Miranda Frederick had a strong night at the service line, collecting four ace serves and five points on serve. She was also a leader on defense with four digs.
Shelby Rayhons had a strong overall night, with six digs, two kills, two ace serves and five points on serve.
Courtney Younge led the team on assists with 19. She also contributed three digs and three points on serve.
Hannah Lau and Mackenzie Van Gerpen and five and four kills respectively and one and one-half blocks apiece.
The game brought an end to the careers of five seniors, Mathews, Younge, Rayhons, Sola Stephenson and Frederick. All five seniors were strong contributors to the team and will be missed next year according to Coach Steffens.
The Cardinals ended the season with a record of 26-8. Sheldon (34-4) faced Mount Vernon (25-10) on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Cedar Rapids.