“We do not have enough points. When we originally divvied up the schedules for the league, it was supposed to be a triangular between Fairfield and Pretty Prairie and us,” said Skyline head coach Summer Younie. “Since they moved to the 36-point system, South Barber has joined in, but we don’t have enough points in our schedule to play them.”
Numerically, the team that had the best night would be South Barber. The Chieftains ended its match against Pretty Prairie in two games, winning 25-20, 25-18. Then they took care of the Falcons 25-20, 25-14.
However, when it came to overcoming the odds, the nod has to go to the Thunderbirds, who according to Younie, had “two ugly wins.” Skyline fell in the first game to Fairfield 25-23, then bounced back to win 25-22 and 25-18. Against the Bulldogs, the Thunderbirds won 25-17, 22-25, 25-22.
Younie wasn’t so concerned that they didn’t win either match in two games. She was just pleased that the remaining players from her ailing team were able to adjust.
“We had about 20 minutes at practice yesterday to learn a new lineup,” she said.
Out were starters Kaitlyn Stark and Alyssa Swonger, who are both battling injuries. Stark leads the T-Birds in kills and is second in blocks, while Swonger is third in kills and first in blocks. If that didn’t complicate things enough, Thunderbird libero Harley Weaver just returned to play after having an emergency appendectomy, Younie said.
With the player adjustments, Skyline switched from a 6-2 formation to a 5-1, and got the job done.
With Stark and Swonger on the mend, Younie is expecting their fortunes to change.
“Bad things happen in threes, so things can’t get any worse. That’s all I have to say,” she said.
While The Thunderbirds saw multiple lead changes in matches against both Pretty Prairie and Fairfield, the Chieftains seldom trailed. It was good, solid play that was the key for the Chieftain squad, South Barber head coach Steve Roberts said.
“Me and my assistant (Emily Lohmann) were talking and we are very happy with how they moved up the court. It was nice to see,” said Roberts. “We were solid most of the day. We didn’t give up any big runs, and when you don’t give up big runs, it just makes the game easier.”
In other action, Fairfield took care of Pretty Prairie in two games, winning 25-20, 25-21.