Sibley East strikes out GFW
By Eric DeVelder
Journal Sports Writer
WINTHROP – Sibley East managed to avoid a resurgence from Gibbon-Fairfax-WInthrop in the third game Tuesday night to complete the sweep, 25-8, 25-6, 26-24.
The Wolverines dominated the first two games of the night, winning 25-8 in their first set with a 16-point scoring streak. They were even stronger in the second set, taking advantage of the Thunderbirds’ inability to effectively field the ball in the center of the court for a 25-6 win.
“We were playing at a high level,” said Sibley East coach Chip Wolverton. “Once things start going in your direction in volleyball, you get momentum, the ball will go to where they can’t play it. But we were playing at a high level. We were focused. We played every point out and I was happy with our concentration and our level of play.”
The Thunderbirds had been on their heels but rallied in the third game. Point for point they climbed the scoreboard with the Wolverines, ultimately bringing the game to a 24-24 balance with the match on the line.
“They didn’t quit, give them credit. Some teams, after losing a few lopsided games like that will roll over, but GFW I knew wouldn’t roll over,” Wolverton said. “That’s why I was worried about the third game. We were lucky to get out of here when we did, because if they won that one then all bets are off.”
GFW coach Chris Wortz ran through her timeouts to talk to the team.
“I told them that we just need to go out and attack the ball, don’t think about, it don’t play safe,” Wortz said. “You need to attack it.”
The words seemed to strike a chord as GFW struck several decisive kill shots onto the Sibley East side.
Wolverton steeled his own team to make sure it made out in three games.
“We’ve talked a lot about the pursuit of excellence, not just the pursuit of winning,” Wolverton said. “If you’re in the pursuit of excellence then you are not afraid of these game situations, because you’re always approaching every point to be as good as you can be.
“So, I just reminded them that we were going to go out there and play the way we know we’re capable of playing and relax and focus on playing the game. In the end, the score will take care of itself.”
Ultimately the GFW effort would be too little too late, losing the last few points to the for a 26-24 loss, allowing Sibley East to complete the sweep.
Wortz hopes that the season will follow the rallying track of the game.
“Playing with this young of a team, you have the young mistakes” Wortz said. “Give us a couple of more matches, and I think that we’re going to be right where we need to be: more seasoned. We’ll be a little more comfortable and then we’ll be fine.”