The Lyman Raider Volleyball team were welcomed home Sunday afternoon at the high school music room by parents, family, friends and supporters following their 5th place finish at the State Class B Volleyball Tournament over the weekend.
The Raiders lost their opening game to Chester area on Thursday night, but came back to win their next two games to win consolation.
This was the Raiders second state tournament in as many years. Last year they finished in eighth place.
“We played Chester tough,” coach Jill Whalen told the assembled crowd. The Raiders lost 3-0 but played a respectable match losing 21-25; 18-25; and 17-25.
“We refocused after that loss and set a new goal of consolation champs,” added Whalen.
Beating Kimball/White Lake in the second game of the tournament was a sweet victory for the Raiders who had suffered a loss to the WildKats earlier in the season.
“That felt good!” said Whalen with a smile. “The girls got out there and did what they had to do to win.”
The Raiders faced a tough match against Herreid/Selby but with a team effort behind the leadership of five seniors, they won 3 – 1, and claimed the fifth place title.
According to principal Cooper Garnos, this year's team finished the state tournament with the best placing in the school's history.
“These girls have made school history,” said Garnos.
Anna Flitner, a senior hitter, was named to the all-tourney team with an overall finish of 6 aces, 45 kills, 4 blocks and 50 digs. Teammates Sara Herman had 10 aces and 47 digs; Bailey Almond had 45 assists and 20 digs; Jessica Welter 29 kills and 5 blocks; Brooklyn Halverson 17 kills and 2 blocks; Ashton Smith 7 kills and 3 blocks; and Hanna Thiry had 37 assists.
Flitner was second highest with 45 kills behind Arlington's Samantha Boeck with 66. Sara Herman recorded the highest number of aces with 10 and led the tourney in front of Ashley Rozell (9) and Sidney Bierman (7) both of Warner.
Flitner was second in digs (50), and Herman third (47) behind the front runner Erin Benson, Chester with 71.
The Raider welcome home was an emotional event for the five seniors as the tournament marked the end of the girls' high school volleyball careers. The teammates took turns thanking their supporters, coaches and teammates which
resulted in a few tears.
Junior Rachel Chester, the last to speak, summed the season up best with a quote from Dr. Suess. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
The Raiders finish the season 26-9.
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