COLUMBIA — Hickman was a team that struggled all season to win games but pulled together at the end of the season to win a crucial game and advance to the semifinals of the Class 4, District 9 girls volleyball tournament.
Rock Bridge was a powerhouse team with 27 wins this season and hopes of advancing to the state tournament.
Hannibal is the team that ended the seasons of both the Bruins and the Kewpies — on the same day.
The Pirates defeated the Kewpies 2-0 in the early semifinal match Tuesday at Troy Buchanan High School, then went on to beat the Bruins 25-23, 19-25, 25-19 in the district final.
Sophie Cunningham led the Bruins with 18 kills. Audrey Holt, Chayla Cheadle and Madison Boyken each added five. Nici Thaler led the team in digs with 20 and Ali Kreklow had 33 assists in the final game.
Despite the loss and hopes for a better end to the season, Bruins coach Tatum Anderson said she was “bummed but very proud” with the way her team performed.
“We went down swinging and staying aggressive. It’s hard to beat the same team three times in one year,” Anderson said of Hannibal. “They prepared for us well and didn’t let anything hit the floor.”
With a final record of 26-7, Rock Bridge posted the most wins in a season for the Bruins program.
“We may have lost, but we had a great season and we left everything we had on the court,” Rock Bridge senior, Kayla Howard said.
Hickman senior Sarah Miller said her team was finally able to find its best lineup and rotation at the Quincy tournament last weekend. But it came just a little too late. The Kewpies ended play with a record of 3-22-1.
Hickman senior Kimberly Lake said she was pleased with the way her team stuck together through a rough season and was particularly pleased with the efforts of coach Greg Gunn.
“He puts his heart and soul into the team,” Lake said. “ The hardest part of the season being over is knowing I'll never get to play for him again.”