SIOUX CITY | Siouxland Christian honored six seniors Tuesday night who have taken part in 75 volleyball victories over their four-year careers.
And, it’s only fitting that the program’s most decorated player ever hammered down the final kill in a 25-16, 25-16, 2510 sweep of OA-BCIG.
Hannah Connelly, a two-time All-Western Valley first-team honoree and the school record holder in kills, aces and digs, had a huge smile on her face after she nailed the match-clincher.
“That’s a big key in volleyball, camaraderie and we’re all seniors and have been playing together since the fourth grade so we just work together well and try to have fun out there,” Connelly said. “We’re all about having fun. We don’t want to end the season with any regrets because a lot of us won’t be playing after high school so we’re trying to make a lot of memories.”
The Eagles, ranked No. 11 in Iowa Class 1A, improved their record to 24-8.
“I can’t begin to talk about what these seniors have accomplished,” third-year Siouxland Christian Coach Amy Wiseman said. “They’re a great group of girls. On and off the court they are very cohesive, they push each other, challenge each other and keep each other honest.
“I’ve been amazed this season how many times I will say practice is done and they will ask if they can stay and get extra reps. I think back to my days as an athlete and I never did that. They want it and they’re building the program here.”
Wiseman said the biggest change from last year to this is the attitude on the court.
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“Even in those high pressure situations they’re calm and they know they just know when we’re in serve receiving to just focus on that pass and then we can attack and put the ball away,” Wiseman said. “I kind of joke, when we go into timeouts I don’t really say much, they just know. They know me, they know the game well enough they talk about it, figure it out and go back out on the court.”
Among the other seniors recognized were Taylor Campbell, the school’s all-time assist leader, and her twin sister Brooke Campbell. Hannah Jesse, Courtney Nelson and Cadi Jones also played their final home match.
OA-BCIG had only two brief leads – early in the first and third sets – but the Falcons hung tough with the talented Eagles in the opening two sets. They rallied from substantial deficits in both before bowing out with 16 points.
The Falcons came within 22-16 in both sets before Siouxland Christian scored the last three points. Nelson got the final point of the first set on an ace serve while Connelly ended both the second and third sets with kills.
Connelly finished with 14 kills, 12 digs and four aces, while Brooke Campbell added 10 kills, six digs and two aces. Taylor Campbell added to her school record with 32 assists to go along with four aces. Jesse contributed 10 digs and four aces and Nelson four kills.
The Eagles have four regular season matches remaining before starting the post-season. Of course, they have their sights set on the state tournament.
“Nobody from our school has ever been to the state tournament so we’re hoping to go to state,” Connelly said. “I actually mentioned it in practice yesterday. We have to focus on every play in practice and think of it as a district final game.”