FARINA — The Cobden volleyball team’s terrific season came to an end Friday at the South Central Class 1A Super-Sectional.
Windsor Stewardson-Strasburg jumped out to big leads in each set and swept the Appleknockers 25-18, 25-10 to advance to the state final four.
Megan Schlechte was very tough at the net for the Cougars and produced 13 kills.
“They are super athletic, and they’ve been here before,” said Cobden coach Nathan Emrick. “When you play in a state tournament the year before and most of your girls are back, they have an advantage. They are just a solid program.”
The Cougars scored the first five points of the first set, but Cobden bounced back. Meredith Flamm hit a kill to pull the Appleknockers to within 11-8 later in the set.
But Megan Schlechte and Mackenzi Tabbert were simply too tough on the front line.
“This is exciting, and not too many people can say they’ve been there multiple times,” said Cougars coach Ronda Schlechte, whose team finished third last season. “Two years in a row is great, and it is special that everybody can participate in that.”
It was all Stewardson-Strasburg in the second set. Anna Schlechte served up an ace, and Mackinzee Reynolds delivered a kill as the Cougars grabbed a quick 9-1 lead.
Cobden, which finished with a school record 26 wins, never could get much offense going in the second set. The Cougars led 18-5 at one point and cruised to victory.
“I don’t necessarily think the stage got to us too much because after that five-point run in the first set, we played fairly even with them the remainder of the first set,” Emrick said. “I just think they play at a different speed that we just couldn’t quite keep up with.”
This was the first time the Cobden volleyball team had ever advanced to a super-sectional.
“I’ve coached two (softball) state championship teams, and this might have been the most fun I’ve ever had in a season,” Emrick said. “This group of girls worked hard every single day. They’re an incredibly fun group, and they’re an incredibly bright and intelligent group. They just all got along, and that’s not to take anything away from those other two teams. You could see that they were purposely trying to make adjustments and do the things that we talk about. When you have kids like that, that also have talent, it’s incredible.”
Flamm led the Appleknockers with nine kills, and Grace Schroeder had 15 assists with two aces. Brooke Bailey tallied nine digs, and Megan Rhodes contributed four kills.