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By Jessica Nissen, Anamosa H.S.
GOOSE LAKE – Probably the most heart-wrenching, intense, nerve-racking day of the year for the Anamosa volleyball players was Oct 22.
It was the first district elimination game for the Raiders and the game would determine if their volleyball season would continue. If the Raiders brought home the win, they would go on to the next round. If they lost, it would be the end of the season.
For the seniors, the game would be the end of their high school volleyball career.
The two teams were well-matched and it was predicted to be an intense battle. Both fought to the very last point. Being a varsity match, the teams played the best-of-five to determine the winner. In this match, the Raiders and Rebels battled through foour games because the Raiders would not give up.
For Anamosa, there wasn’t a single point given to the Rebels that they didn’t have to work for. The Rebels didn’t give the Raiders any easy points either. They battled neck and neck the entire way.
The Raiders had a few good runs when one player was up to serve. Jessica Nissen served for more than five points each time she served. The hitters made a huge contribution as well. Abbey Hunt stepped up her game and put the ball down multiple times. Hunt put up some key blocks when the team needed them most, as well.
Cassidy Smith brought her “A” game when it came to digging up some of the Rebels’ hard hits. Courtney Harmon was a key back row player when it came to serve receive. She stepped it up when the rest of the back row was off and inspired the other players to play their best when the team needs them most.
Bri Langdon brings excitement to the team, getting the team up when it gets down. Even though she got hurt in the game, she came right back in the next rotation ready to go and ready to fight.
The last game the Raiders played was the toughest they have ever faced. They fought to the end. The Raiders and Rebels fought back and forth. They stayed within a point of each other to the end. On the very last play of the game, with the Rebels leading 27-26, the Raiders had a chance to get a kill. But the Rebels were just too quick to the ball. The Rebels took advantage of the last play and hit one right in the middle of the court, where no Raiders were standing.
As the Raiders realized that their season was over, they managed to keep it together until they reached the locker room. The Raiders were extremely upset that their season was over but they all agreed if they were going to end the season that this game was the way to do it.
They played very well and went out with a bang.
They made sure that the Rebels would never forget the match. The Raiders will never forget the match they fought their hardest in, either.