COLUMBIA — For most high school players, senior night is a time to reflect on your high school career and play your last regular season match in front of your family and friends.
In Wednesday night's girls volleyball match between Hickman and Rock Bridge at Columbia College, senior night for both teams, some of those friends happened to be on the other team.
Rock Bridge defeated Hickman 25-10, 21-25, 25-22.
“Sure, this is a big rivalry,” Rock Bridge coach Robin Sherman said. “But most of these girls have played together and are close friends. So you never know what you are going to get.”
Seniors from both teams were honored and watched commemorative videos highlighting their high school careers.
“I was definitely tearing up a bit when the video played,” Hickman setter Chloe Kome said. “It was so emotional because it was our last stand and our final regular season game in high school. The girls gave me personal gifts, and that really got to me.”
Rock Bridge senior outside hitter Katelyn Race played with Kome on a club team and at West Junior High School along with Hickman’s other two seniors, Ali Baxter and Samantha Nielsen.
“It was awesome to be recognized like that on senior night,” Race said. “My mom actually made our video, so I had seen it and got the tears out of the way beforehand.”
With 14 wins this season, Rock Bridge was favored over Hickman, which has only two victories. Hickman also lost at home to Rock Bridge earlier in the season.
After the first game, it appeared that Rock Bridge was going win with ease. However, the Kewpies used strong defense to win the second game, then fell short in the third game after the score was tied at 22.
“Our defense definitely stepped up in the second and third game,” Kome said. “Our libero Sam (Nielsen) wanted this win so bad and wasn’t letting anything fall.”
But in the end it was the Bruins who celebrated with cake afterward.
Rock Bridge will host the district tournament that starts Monday. The Bruins and Kewpies are set to square off in the first round, with a spot in the district semifinals on the line.
“I think mentally we needed this win heading into Monday,” Sherman said. “We need to bring our A-game, because they will be ready for us.”