Chargers' Volleyball Falls Short of State Tourney
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
The term "bubble burst" has been used to describe the sudden end of a happy or successful period. It has been used to describe economic downturns after a period of prosperity. And of course it is frequently used to describe a loss in an athletic contest that ends a successful run.
It is the latter use of the phrase that the Charger volleyball team experienced last Wednesday night when ACGC lost to South Hardin in the regional championship match played in Alleman. The Tigers won in straight sets with scores of 25-22, 25-11, and 25-14. The win for South Hardin qualified the Tigers for the state tournament to be played in Cedar Rapids next week.
The Chargers had a successful run leading up to the "game to go", as they had won seven of their last ten matches that included wins in the regional quarterfinals and semifinals. But in the finals they ran into a very good South Hardin team.
Although the Chargers lost the initial set, it was close throughout, with the score tied at 21-21 going down the stretch. After the Tigers scored three consecutive points to take a 24 -21 lead, Alaina Bunde's tip for a score kept the Chargers' hope for a win alive. But a South Hardin kill ended the Charger rally. Still, the ACGC girls had played close and there was a glimmer of hope that they could still pull off the upset.
Those hopes were dashed when the Tigers broke away from a 4-4 tie early is set two and outscored the Chargers 21-7 during the remainder of the set to claim a 2-0 advantage. A key to
the ninth ranked Tigers success was their ability to defend attempted kills by the Charger hitters--Chloe Largent, Alaina Bunde, and Mercedez Richter.
In the final set a kill by Largent and a tip by Bunde in the early going knotted the scored at six apiece. South Hardin responded by outscoring the Chargers seven to one to take a 14-7 lead the Tigers would not relinquish on their way to to the 25-14 win.
Largent led the Chargers offense with 18 kills, while Mollie Gettler had 25 assists. Defensively Bunde had the only block for ACGC, while Jordan Lemke came up with 15 digs. The ACGC serving was commendable at 93.8%--slightly better than South Hardin's 93.2%. O'Brien (10-10), Richter (12-12), and Jordan lLemke (4-4) were all perfect from the service line, while Gettler served at 90% (9-10).
"We came out strong in the first set and it was exciting to play South Hardin to a 25-22 game," Charger mentor Jen Policky commented following the season ending loss. "When we took the lead early in the second set, it was encouraging. But then they found their groove and we didn't.
It wasn't our best ball and we needed to pay our best ball against a team like that."
And so the bubble did indeed burst. That final loss of the season is the hardest one to take because the players on the losing team have no more chances to redeem themselves. It is especially difficult for seniors, as for most of them it is the last competitive volleyball they will play. The team finished the season with a won loss record of 23-13.
Six seniors have completed their high school volleyball careers--Alaina Bunde, Chloe Largent, Megan Lemke, Alyssa Beyers, Anita Chamberlain, and Myah Defruscio--in addition to manager Morgan Lemke. Their contributions have helped to make ACGC volleyball very competitive against western Iowa teams.
ACGC 22 11 14
SH 25 25 25