Swedes get revenge over Southwest
Volleyball team plays at Cozad Invite Saturday.
Gothenburg volleyball coach Mary Clark has been talking to her team all season about finishing strong.
When the Swedes came back from two sets down and found themselves tied at 15-15 in the fifth set against Southwest Thursday night, there was no time to talk.
Senior Emily Max served the last two points and freshman Jacey Wiggins ended the match with a perfect kill to give the Swedes a 25-21, 24-26, 20-25, 25-17, 17-15 win over the Roughriders.
“The exciting thing is the girls truly knew they could win that game,” Clark said. “We’ve been in some close matches with really good teams and lost. Now they totally believe.”
After winning the first set, the Swedes were enroute to a win in the second leading 24-21 before giving up five straight points.
Then Gothenburg dropped the third set as well.
“Still, they remained determined,” Clark said. “They played disciplined and focused and every girl did her job.”
When the Swedes came back to take the fourth set, Clark said the determination grew stronger.
“I think we wore Southwest down,” she said. “We just kept serving aggressively and it wore down their serve receive to the point where their setter had to run all over the place.”
Still, she said, the Swedes kept their composure.
Every play in the final set, it seemed, came down to a nail-biter decision.
Tied at 15-15, Southwest called a timeout.
“Those girls believe,” Clark said. “I could see it in their faces.”
Losing to Southwest earlier in the season makes the victory sweeter especially since the Roughriders are now rated No. 4 in Class C-2.
“It was a huge mental boost,” Clark said.
Max had an outstanding night serving 24-of-25 for 15 points but the remarkable statistic, Clark said, is her 34 kills from hitting 59-of-66.
“Emily is an amazing player anyway,” Clark said. “She just really played well.”
Wiggins contributed 17 kills while setters Kira Peterson and McKenzie Geiken offered 28 and 19 set assists respectively.
Libero Ali Clark picked up 29 digs while Abby Ambler and Max had 21 digs each.
“It was a total team effort,” Clark said. “That’s the way the game is supposed to work.”
Gothenburg (8-12) travels to the Cozad Invite on Saturday. The Swedes will play Sutherland at 12:30 p.m.