The Goessel Bluebirds came home from Solomon on Tuesday with two decisive Wheat State League volleyball victories.
In the first set with Little River the teams were tied at 13. Goessel amassed an 12-3 run and won the set 25-16. Page Hiebert, Erin Brubaker, and Olivia Duerksen kept a mixture of pounding and tipping to keep the Redskin defense off-balance.
Goessel led 6-5 as Gentry Thiesen and Makayla King kept balls from hitting the floor in the second set. Setter Alyssa Booton tipped one over for a score and Goessel led 16-9. After trading points, the Bluebirds emerged with a 25-15 win.
Against Solomon the Bluebirds made several unforced errors but took a 13-6 lead. Alicen Meysing and Duerksen played stellar defense along the net. Goessel built its lead to 22-8 and coasted to a final score of 25-11. In the final set of the night, the Bluebirds jumped out to a 14-5 lead. The Gorillas were out of energy and the Bluebirds floated to a 25-9 win.
The Bluebird volleyball team spent Saturday at Olpe in a five-team tournament. Goessel played Northern Heights in their first match of the day. Goessel led 9-6 early but then suffered from a 10-1 run by the Cats from which the Bluebirds did not recover, losing 25-19.
Again in the second set the Bluebirds took a lead 11-6. Page Hiebert began the game successfully hitting winners. The Cats scratched their way back into the game, getting as close as 18-16. Meysing got a key block and then went to serve and delivered an ace giving the Bluebirds a 24-19 lead. But that elusive winning point was never found as Northern Heights won 28-26.
Wabaunsee had a significant size advantage over the Bluebirds, but Goessel surged to a 7-3 lead. The Chargers tied the game at 10 and then took a 24-17 lead. Goessel scored three points before the game ended 25-20. In the second set, the Bluebirds struggled. Wabaunsee blasted to a 10-2 lead and continued to build on that advantage winning the second set 25-14.
The Bluebirds faced Peabody-Burns for the second time this season. Warrior errors mixed with aggressive play from the Bluebirds allowed Goessel to surge to a 16-1 lead. Erin Brubaker, Hiebert, and Meysing were successful from the front row and Peabody seemed to lose energy. Goessel won 25-7. Peabody surprised Goessel by taking a 3-0 lead in the second set. The Bluebirds tied at 8 on a Booton tip and went on a 12-4 run. Goessel won the second set 25-16.
The highly ranked Olpe Eagles have been a dominating force against Goessel in the past. The first set was a battle as both teams held short leads. Goessel led 5-2, but the game was tied at 7, 12, 15, and 17.
Several Eagle errors and a Hiebert kill forced an Olpe timeout with Goessel ahead 20-17. When the Eagles tied the game at 22, Goessel took a timeout. Olpe scored two more points and the Bluebirds called another timeout. With their backs against the wall, Goessel watched Olpe make an error, then Brubaker pounded a point to tie at 24.
Olpe tipped one into the net and Brubaker put the finishing touches on a Goessel comeback to win the first set 26-24. The second set displayed bigger swings in scoring as Olpe took a 6-3 lead, but Goessel would get as close as 12-11. Olpe stretched the lead to seven points and would end the game with a 25-20 loss for the Bluebirds.
Nothing went well for the Bluebirds in the third set as Olpe took command with a 13-2 lead and the game ended with a Goessel loss 25-9.
Goessel faced Wabaunsee in bracket play. It was a back-and-forth game until a Goessel 16-13 lead disappeared. The Chargers scored 11 straight points and finished the game with a 25-17 win. In the second set, Goessel held early leads but Wabaunsee tied the game at 9. Errors for the Bluebirds allowed the Chargers to surge to a 23-14 lead and eventually a win at 25-18.
The Bluebirds faced Northern Heights in the match for third place. Goessel played close tying the score at 10. Errors haunted the Bluebird chances as the Cats’ lead swelled to 23-15. The Bluebirds caught a little momentum too late and scored four more points in the loss, 25-19.
In the second set, Goessel out-hustled the Cats. Olivia Duerksen hit a winner and got a block and suddenly the Bluebirds had an 11-2 lead. Northern Heights cut into the deficit but would only get as close as 22-18 before the Bluebirds sent the match to a third game with a 25-18 win.
Northern Heights gained an early lead in the final set as the Bluebirds trailed 13-7. Something inspired the Bluebirds trailing 20-12. With Page Hiebert serving, Brubaker picked up three kills and a tip. Duerksen finished a point from the middle position and then two errors by the Cats and Goessel was ahead 21-20. Brubaker made the best of every opportunity in the front row and the Bluebirds pulled out a delightful 26-24 win for third place.
Goessel ends the week with a 13-6 overall record and a 6-0 Wheat State League record.