One of the goals the Concordia High School volleyball team set heading into the season was to win its own tournament, and the Panthers came within one victory of doing so.
Concordia won three of four matches in pool play, battled past Washington County in the semifinals before losing a rematch with Southeast of Saline.
Southeast of Saline, which went unbeaten in pool play, and knocked off Marysville 25-15, 25-22 in the semifinals, defeated Concordia 25-20, 25-16 in the finals.
“Overall, I was very pleased with their performance this weekend. The girls came out with the determination to win from the beginning. We had some of our most impressive wins this season in this tournament, beating good competition,” Concordia coach Rio Brown said.
Lindsey Widen had four kills, 12 digs and 19 good sets in 19 attempts with six assists for Concordia in the loss to Southeast of Saline.
Jera Metro finished with four kills and six digs.
Leyli Beims had three kills and four blocks.
Megan James and Emily Brown had 10 digs each. James added four blocks.
Michaela Hyman had eight digs and five service points.
Danae Gennette had 21 good sets in 25 attempts with five assists.
The Panthers opened pool play with a 26-24, 25-23 win over Smith Center.
Widen had nine kills, 12 digs, seven service points with one ace and 17 good sets in 18 attempts with six assists.
Gennette had 25 good sets in 26 attempts with 13 assists and six service points.
James had nine digs and five blocks, and Hyman had seven digs and three blocks.
Hyman and Shelby Fraser had two kills and three blocks each, and Metro had two kills and five digs.
The Panthers then fell 25-22, 25-19 to Southeast of Saline.
Widen had six kills, eight digs, 21 good sets in 22 attempts with seven assists and five service points.
Gennette added 21 good sets in 22 attempts with nine assists and eight digs.
James had 12 digs and four blocks.
Brown had 10 digs, and Hyman had eight.
Metro had three kills and six service points.
Concordia got past Clay Center, 25-21, 25-20.
Widen had nine kills, eight digs, five service points and 21 good sets in 23 attempts with seven assists.
Gennette finished with 16 good sets in 19 attempts with nine assists, and six service points with an ace.
Fraser had six kills and a block.
Metro had five kills.
Brown had 22 digs and four service points.
Hyman had 14 digs, four blocks and four service points.
James had nine digs.
The Panthers wrapped up pool play with a 25-17, 25-10 win over Minneapolis.
Widen had nine kills, 11 digs, six service points, two blocks and 20 good sets in 20 attempts with four assists.
Gennette had 20 good sets in 21 attempts with 10 assists.
Brown had 17 digs and 10 service points.
James added 11 digs, three kills and six service points.
Metro had four kills and five service points, and Hyman had nine digs and two blocks.
Coming out of pool play as the number two seed, Concordia played Washington County in the semifinals.
Washington County was top seed in the Red Pool with a 4-0 record.
The Panthers squeezed out a 31-29 win in the first set, and took the second set, 25-19.
Widen had 10 kills, 13 digs, three blocks and 22 good sets in 23 attempts with 10 assists.
Gennette had 24 good sets in 29 attempts with 12 assists and six service points with three aces.
Metro had six kills, two blocks and five service points with two aces.
Fraser had six kills and three blocks.
Brown had 27 digs.
James had three blocks and 10 service points with two aces.
Hyman had nine digs and six blocks, and Beims had four blocks.
The Panthers were then beaten in the title match by Southeast of Saline.
“I was so proud of the way the girls played against Washington and Smith Center. The girls stuck together, believed they could finish and fought hard until the end. Finishing all of our wins in two sets was a major accomplishment for us. The girls played resilient in the semifinals. That match took a lot our of them. I thought our serve receive and passing was good most of the day. We had a balanced attack from our hitters, and our blocking and defense improved immensely. Spot serving and keeping the competition out of system a huge advantage for us,” Brown said, “This weekend we took a huge step in the right direction. We played intense, aggressive and were focused most of the day. I was disappointed we didn’t give Southeast a better run at it, but still very pleased with the complete team effort the girls brought this weekend.”
Washington County defeated Marysville 25-22, 22-25, 25-16 in the third-place match.