Savages win Homecoming week match

Sigourney volleyball players head off the court after completing a South Iowa Cedar League sweep against English Valleys on Monday night to open Homecoming week at Sigourney High School.

SIGOURNEY – Steven Sattz will probably be a lot happier when it's over.

That's in reference to a busy week of activities on an off the court, not the current winning streak of the Sigourney High School volleyball team. The Savages moved back over .500 for just the second time this season, sweeping English Valleys on Monday 25-20, 25-11 and 25-19 to kick off a week filled with activities for the school district during Homecoming 2021.

"We used our scouting report to our advantage," Sattz said. "English Valleys is a decent team, but they'll make their rallies. Going at them and continuing those long stretch of rallies that benefited us in the end.

"This is the first of six matches for us this week. One down and five to go. Hopefully, we'll continue to have as many successful outcomes in the future."

Sigourney has won three straight matches after back-to-back pool play losses at the English Valleys Tournament on Sept. 4 dropped the Savages to 3-5 on the season. Sigourney hasn't even dropped a single game since Davis County completed a 21-6, 21-12 sweep that propelled the Mustangs to the tournament title in the pool play finale at North English.

"We want to be playing our best volleyball heading into late September and early October," Sattz said. "We're on pace to do that. I'm very proud of the girls and the ones that stepped up in this match. I'm excited to see what they can do the rest of the week."

Sigouney pulled away in the opening set after exchanging seven ties and four lead changes during the first 19 points of the match. The first of the 21 hitting errors in the match by the Bears began to creep up midway through the opening game, allowing Sigourney to open a 15-11 lead.

From there, Sigourney's serving helped put the opening set away. Madi Richard drilled a pair of aces while Madelynn Hornback added a winner, helping the Savages open a 23-14 lead.

"I would have liked to have seen our energy come out a little stronger at the beginning of the match, but we did a nice job picking ourselves up and getting the momentum going on our side," Hornback said. "It's a lot fun when you get to play a match on Homecoming week. It's fun to see the former players come out and watch us play to see how our program is developing."

Sigourney dominated the second set against the Bears, opening an 18-8 lead as English Valleys continued to struggle attacking the net, finishing 67-88 with a negative kill efficiency (-.102) with just 12 kills to 21 errors in the match. Kennedy Axmear's team-leading fourth kill and an ace serve by Delaney Hall rallied English Valleys into third-set ties of 14-14 and 15-15 before more hitting miscues allowed Sigourney to pull away to complete the SICL sweep.

"We played really well. We have a lot of fun out there together on the court," Sigourney senior Raegan Rozenboom said. "We work really hard and we work together."

Hornback, the senior libero of the Savages, led the way to the win defensively with a team-leading 11 digs. Macy Fisch finished as the top attacker for the Savages with four kills.

"Practice has been really good for us. We're doing a lot of improving and our bond, as a team, is continuing to grow," Hornback said. "We know we can beat teams with our serving. We're not the best offensive team, but out-of-system plays is what really drives us to succeed."

Sigourney (6-5, 2-0 SICL) will be looking for a fourth straight win on Thursday against Iowa Valley. The Savages complete a busy Homecoming week with four matches at the North Mahaska Tournament on Saturday.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at sjackson@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.

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