Rockets compete at state tourney
The sites and sounds of state volleyball started right after the Syracuse Rocket Volleyball team won their district final game against Mitchell on Saturday, October 30. The state t-shirt order forms were handed out. The firetruck escorted the team bus when they returned to town Saturday night. The parents got to work organizing and putting up signs around town. The SDA Athletic Booster Club put signs on each player’s home door. The pep rally with fellow students was on Tuesday. The Tuesday night team meal included speaker CiCi Hall from Sweden. CiCi was a Husker volleyball player from 2011-2015 and part of the 2015 national championship team.
And finally, it was go time on Wednesday. The #5 seeded Syracuse Rockets took on the #4 seeded Columbus Lakeview Vikings in the quarterfinals of the Class C1 State Volleyball tournament in Lincoln at Pinnacle Bank Arena. What looked to be two similar teams on paper made for some long rallies on the court and defense would be a big factor in the contest.
Even though it took until the 7th point of the game for the Rockets to get a kill, the score stayed close due to serving errors on the Viking side. The Rockets had their last lead at 16-15 and that’s when the Vikings went on two runs that included untimely net and hitting errors by the Rockets and a 17-25 loss for the Rockets.
The Rockets struck early to counteract Viking kills in the second set off of two kills each by seniors Lily Vollertsen and Lindsey Moss and one by senior Cassidy Roberts to tie the score at 7. And then the Viking got serious at the service line with three ace serves during a 10-1 run to put the Rockets behind 8-18. Behind numerous long rally’s, the Viking defense prevailed as the Rockets struggled to terminate. The Vikings finished with a 25-13 win.
With their season on the line, the Rockets never gave up but were just a step behind during the set with scores of 7-10, 13-15, 15-20, and finally 21-25. The Rockets failed to go on any long runs until a push at the end off of a kill by sophomore Delainey Cast and a couple of blocks by Moss and Roberts, but the defense of the Vikings proved to be too much.
Stat leaders for the Rockets included Cast with 10 kills, Vollertsen with 8, and Moss 5. Senior Kennedy Stanley dished out 21 set assists. Cast also led with 30 digs with senior Shayla Thompson not far behind with 24.
The Rockets finish their season at 28-2. Lakeview (31-4) continues on to face the #1 seed Kearney Catholic (32-4).
A great season to be a Rocket Volleyball Player!