It was exactly what sports is all about when the Osceola Chieftain volleyball team hosted the Bloomer Blackhawks in the Sectional semi-final match. Osceola was the top seed and Bloomer had earned the two-seed. Both teams had lively fan bases that nearly filled the local gymnasium. The games were filled with long volleys, great digs, wonderful serves and intimidating kills. When the dust settled it was Bloomer who defeated Osceola three games to one. All four games were closely contested and any of them could have gone the other way.
“Overall we had a great season and many things to be proud about,” Osceola coach Holly Johnson said. “A conference championship, Regional championship and a competitive Sectional match. These girls continued to grow as the season progressed and left it on the court.”
Osceola scored the first point of the first game but then fell behind by as many as five points at 16-11. The Chieftains, per usual, didn’t flinch but fought back into contention. The Chieftains caught the Blackhawks at 19 points each and appeared to take a 20-19 lead but a call on the court was reversed, putting Osceola down a point. The Chieftains could not recover from the momentum swing and lost the first game 25-21.
The second game was tight with neither team able to gain more than a two point lead until Bloomer went ahead 18-15. The Blackhawks outscored the Chieftains 7-4 the rest of the game and came away with a 25-19 decision in game two.
Osceola captured the third game 25-22. The Chieftains led by as many as five points at 11-6 but then fell behind 19-16. Bloomer was looking to put things away with a 22-20 lead but Osceola once again fought back by scoring the game’s last five points to win 25-22.
The final game was another nail biter. The teams were tied nine times with the last knotted score at 23 each. Bloomer scored the game’s last two points to come away with a 25-23 win to take the contest three games to one.
Osceola’s Makena Hollman played steady all night long ending the contest with 24 kills, three blocks and three digs. Addi Anderson had nine kills and six digs. Hannah Ebert led the team with 24 assists with Mathea Leiskau adding 16 helpers. Sydney Bents led the team with eight digs with Leiskau, Hannah Ebert and Hailey Ebert chipping in five digs each.
Osceola had eight seniors play their last volleyball game of their careers for OHS. The team started their season a little slowly but improved week after week to put up several impressive wins.
“The seniors played a big role especially being so many,” Johnson said. “Their teamwork as a unit was phenomenal. They brought everything from kills, to blocking, setting and defense. They controlled every aspect of the game. We will have a lot of work to do to fill all the shoes.”
“Our love for the game really connected us and created a team that knew how to work together,” Bents, a senior, said in summarizing the Chieftain season. “We played incredibly well with one another in our matches throughout our undefeated season to receive our conference and Regional champion titles. We finished the season playing hard and I could not be any more proud of my teammates and the season we had this year.”