The SMC Pioneers Volleyball team recognized their four sophomores this past Saturday as they faced Andrew College in the first round of the Region X Tournament. Claudia Casey, Allison Byler, Anne Martin, and Leslie Williams, were starters for the match and helped advance the team to the championship match. Claudia Casey, as in most games, led the Pioneers with 9 kills while maintaining a .500 hitting percentage. Byler added 4 kills also hitting .500, while Martin and Williams held down the back row. The Pioneers defeated Andrew College in straight sets with scores of 25-9, 25-14, and 25-10.
The championship match was against Region X rivals Richard Bland. There was a lot of energy and excitement in this game but the end result favored the Statesman. Richard Bland took an early 2-0 set lead in the match with scores of 25-16 and 25-17 but the Pioneers kept their composure and came out strong to win the third set 25-22. The fourth set was a battle, the teams consistently traded points back and forth with high side out percentages. Although the Pioneers had set point, the Statesman fought hard to win the set with a kill by Region X Player of the Year, Harper Smith, defeating the Pioneers 26-24.
Casey led the Pioneers with 11 kills, 3 services aces, and one block assist. Molly Mather also made huge contributions, adding 9 kills with a .368 hitting percentage. Williams and Martin combined for a total of 20 digs and middle blocker Alisabeth Kneece carried the Pioneers at the net with 3 solo blocks and 3 block assists.
Commenting on the season Coach Zimmerman said, "I'm so proud of how the girls grew this season. We will miss our sophomores, but I am excited to get the opportunity to train the younger players and build off what they have already accomplished. I want to say a big thanks to all of our fans who supported us this season and this weekend, it was a fun atmosphere to play in on Saturday!"