It is true that "all good things come to an end", including for the players on a high school sports team. For the very few it is in the state championship contest that the end comes--win or lose. For everyone else the end comes somewhere along the tournament trail. And so it was for the ACGC volleyball team, as the Chargers fell to fourth ranked Council Bluffs St. Albert in straight sets Thursday night, 25-14, 25-9, 25-11 in regional semifinal action.
The Chargers appeared ready to get after it, as they were hovering near the entrance to the gym when this observer and athletic director Jake Mohling entered the lobby of the St. Albert gym. Senior team members Madi Smith and MaKayla Hoing excitedly asked Mr. Mohling what time it was--they knew that they could take the court for warmups seventeen minutes prior to the match.
When Mr. Mohling said it was time, they tapped the top of the door frame in their traditional entrance to the court and ran into the gym. The biggest match of the season was only seventeen minutes away!
With a fired up crowd behind them, the Chargers started out strong, matching the heavily favored Saints point for point until the halfway point in the first set. With the score knotted at 11-11, St. Albert scored the next five points and ACGC never really challenged again. The Chargers never led in the match after that. Saint Albert is a hard hitting team, having several strong hitters and a solid defense as well. As a team the Saints had a kill efficiency of 25% for the season compared to the Chargers 18%. Thursday night St. Albert's kill efficiency was at 27% with a total of 38 kills. ACGC's efficiency was a negative 4%, with a total of 14 kills. That goes a long way in understanding how the mach went.
Coach Noe was pleased with the start of the match, saying "We started strong. The first half of the first set was back and forth until St. Albert's power and defense took over. Obviously, they could put the ball anywhere on the court, and if we dug it up, they dug up our attacks. At moments we played as hard as I've seen us play all season, but that level of play was needed the whole match to compete with St. Albert. All around, St. Albert is a great squad."
Of the 14 kills by the Chargers, MaKayla Hoing led with 4 out of 14 attack attempts, while Olivia Laabs was 3 of 10. Samantha Sloss again performed well from the serve line, going 7 for 7, with Genevieve Hoover going 6 for 7 including 2 aces. Mady Smith had 9 assists, while Laabs led in digs with 23. Jadeyn Carrick had the lone block for the Chargers.
And so a "good thing has come to an end." This volleyball season has indeed been a "good thing." It is something that players and coaches alike can be proud of. Coaches Noe, Irwin, and Groff developed a team that won over two thirds of its matches. When a team is able to produce wins two thirds of the time, significant success has been achieved. This year's overall record of 21-10 is just that--significant success.
Four seniors have donned the black and gold for the final time, including Mackenzie Davis, MaKayla Hoing, Morgan Meachem, and Mady Smith. They will no doubt be missed. Many underclassmen return to strive for continued success and another "good thing" next fall.