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Volleyball: Raiders' season ends with loss to Henry Sibley

Junior Megan Tietjen flips the ball over the net during the Raiders' loss to the Warriors. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Senior libero Paula Scharfe receives the serve during Hastings' sections match at Henry Sibley. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Junior Charisma Denning sets the ball against the Warriors. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

Unlike many volleyball matches, the exciting action came at the beginning of the Hastings vs. Henry Sibley section 3AAA playoff matchup.

The Raiders battled and clawed back in the first set but were unable to keep up that energy in the second set and then were blown out in the third. Hastings fell in three straight sets 21-25, 15-25, 5-25.

The Raiders were down in the first set before battling back. They then traded the Warriors point-for-point until a few calls went against them and seemed to take the wind out of their sails. They dropped the first set and those setbacks seemed to stay with them as they started the second set. From there, Henry Sibley upped their game and Hastings struggled to do the same, resulting in the second set loss and the third set getting out of hand.

Senior co-captain Paula Scharfe said that there was both good and bad in the match.

"I think we were playing one of our most aggressive games of the season," she said. "We never had a ball drop that someone wasn't going for. We had our low points too though. Even though we were playing competitively, I think we could have been smarter on the court at certain times and fear is what got us into our low points. We would play things safe instead of taking risks to better the ball."

Despite the team's record this season and the sections loss, Scharfe said she has seen significant changes in her team.

"We've improved immensely on communication," she explained. "Once the season started I realized that many of us have never played together and there are a lot of new athletes on varsity. No matter what level athlete you are you have to communicate. So it sounds silly that this is something we paid so much attention to, but once we were lively and communicative it was a night and day difference regarding the atmosphere on the court. It's like we became a totally different team."

She also said that one word summed up the entire season: change.

"This has been a year of change more than anything else," Scharfe explained. "Yes, getting a new head coach, but also losing five crucial players on the team. Some of us had to step into roles and positions that last year we would have never thought of doing. No one could sit back and relax on the team, we all had to constantly work at becoming the best we could be and stepping up to the role we were given."

Hastings graduates seven seniors this spring but were primarily a young team this season. Those seniors are Hannah Weber, Josie Pechous, Katie Notch, Eryn Furney, Destinee Kauahikaua, Scharfe and Anna Milton.

"It's been a blast getting so close to some of the seniors over the years," Scharfe finished. "Josie (Pechous) and I have been playing on and off with each other since middle school and have formed such an awesome bond over the years and it's so interesting how that transfers to the court. It's crazy to me that we're seniors, it feels like yesterday that we were coming into tryouts as scared freshmen. I've really enjoyed seeing all of us grow over the years even if we haven't all been on the same team. Each and every one of us slowly gained more and more confidence as time went on."

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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