Goessel’s first volleyball match of the season was against the 2A state runner-up from last year, Ell-Saline. Goessel only has three girls that have any varsity experience from last year and the Cardinals put four seniors and two juniors on the floor, all with experience from playing varsity last year and making it to the state championship game.
Goessel fell behind 0-6 but regrouped and matched points with the highly ranked team. The Bluebirds trailed 13-17 and the Cardinals were able to stretch their lead at the end of the game to finish ahead 18-25.
Although it was obvious the Bluebirds suffered some early season jitters as they let some easy points slip away, it was Goessel that forced an Ell-Saline timeout with the Bluebirds ahead 12-8. The second set was tied at 14, and again at 18, before the momentum turned to the favor of the Cardinals as they ended the match with a 19-25 win.
“I expected the girls to freak out against a team like Ell-Saline, and that is what happened,” head coach Crysta Guhr said. “But after falling behind 6-0, our girls played the Cardinals very close. This was a very encouraging start for our inexperienced team to play a high quality team very close.”
In the second match of the evening, Goessel outplayed Elyria Christian 25-12 and 25-9. Page Hiebert, Erin Brubaker, Gentry Thiesen and Alicen Meysing bolstered the net play offensively. Olivia Duerksen and Meysing collected blocks while in the front row. Goessel’s serving led to multiple aces as Brubaker, Hiebert, Meysing, Makayla King and Alyssa Booton all served aggressively.
Both matches do not count in the Wheat State League standings but Elyria and Centre will be Goessel’s opponents in Elyria on Tuesday night which will count as league games.