North Crawford’s (#9 seed) volleyball team traveled to Richland Center on Thursday, Oct. 25 to take on Potosi (#2 seed) in a Division 4 WIAA Semi-Final Sectional game.
The Trojans got off to a strong start in game one to take the lead 18-14, only to see the Chieftains bounce back to take over 19-18. North Crawford fought back with Hollie Martin's serving, again taking the lead 23-19, but Potosi wouldn’t lie down. The Chieftains surged ahead once again to take the lead 25-24, forcing the Trojans to focus on spike kills. Thanks to the concentrated serving of Mackenzie Swiggum, North Crawford was finally able to take game one 27-25.
Game two got off to a bad start for North Crawford, who fell behind 0-9. Katie Eitsert stepped up to serve six straight points to bring North Crawford within two, 7-9, but they could never totally come back from the early swamping. Potosi sank the Trojans 22-25 to take game two.
The Trojans had trouble setting up their offense effectively in game three while Potosi exercised their many hitters, especially middle hitter, Rylie Bausch.
However, things started to get back on track for North Crawford thanks to spike kills coming from Aubrey Stevenson, Hollie Martin and Mackenzie Swiggum with a block kill from Natasha Swiggum.
The Trojans were cooking by the end of the game with their own spike kills coming from Aubrey Stevenson, Hollie Martin, Mackenzie Swiggum and a nice block kill by Natasha Swiggum. But the Trojans came up short, losing the game 22-25 even though they had shown much strength towards the end.
North Crawford came out strong in game four with much better serve-receive passes. Setters Katie Eitsert and Bailey Stevenson got the ball to the Trojans’ four main spikers, who hit the ball down hard and scored numerous kills. The game got close at one point, the Chieftains anxious to put it away, but the Trojans’ defense held out, and North Crawford took game four 25-23.
And so it all came down to game five, each team with a pair of wins in hand.
Game five saw the Trojans ahead early, but after struggling to stop Potosi’s Karregan Stappert's serves, fell behind 8-3. It was a battle for North Crawford, who dug up balls and continued to play hard. But despite their efforts, the Trojans couldn’t get back on top. North Crawford lost the final game 10-15 and the match 2-3.
“It was a hard loss for the girls,” North Crawford coach Shelly Biggen said. “They love playing volleyball and had improved so much the last three weeks of the season, digging more balls than they ever have.”
The North Crawford Trojans ended their season 12-2 in games 3-out-of-5 format.
Hollie Martin and Mackenzie Swiggum both had 15 spike kills and two tip kills, Aubrey Stevenson had six kills, and Natasha Swiggum had three spike kills. Those with assists include: Bailey Stevenson, 21; Katie Eitsert, 19; and Regan Evers, 1. Digs: Mackenzie Swiggum, 18; Aubrey Stevenson, 13; Hollie Martin, 10; Katie Eitset, 9; Bailey Stevenson, 8; Mysti Pratt, 6. Block Kills: Natasha Swiggum, 4; Aubrey Stevenson, 2. Ace Serves: Mackenzie Swiggum, 3; Mysti Pratt and Aubrey Stevenson each had one. Serving 100 percent from the line were Mysti Pratt (17/17), Hollie Martin (17/17), Bailey Stevenson (15/15), and Aubrey Stevenson (14/14).