Perryville volleyball coach Cindy Cissell was searching for any sort of consistency over the weekend for her struggling team. She may have found a ray of hope as the Pirates fell in the gold bracket of the Perryville Tournament on Saturday.
“We are still down a couple of players and searching for that leader,” Cissell said. “I thought we played so much better and with a lot more heart.”
The Pirates finished second in pool play behind North County to reach the tournament’s top championship bracket, North County went on to fall in the championship game to Fredericktown, who entered the tournament 17-2-1.
Cissell was encouraged behind the sweep of Clearwater and the tough sets they gave North County before falling 24-26, 16-25.
“We are still growing and working toward playing our best volleyball at district time,” Cissell said. “We are just trying to improve until then.”
Perryville fell to Hillsboro in the opening round of gold bracket play 25-18, 26-28, 24-26.
“We were just trying to get us to play well and getting into the gold bracket was a bonus,” Cissell said. “We played with a lot of energy.”
Saxony wins silver
The Crusaders have struggled at points this year, after coming into the season with such high hopes. Saxony Lutheran returned all but one player from last year’s team that reached the Class 2 quarterfinals. However, they have hovered around the .500 mark for much of the season, as coach Emily Wahlers has tried to piece together a lineup that has yet to be whole.
That was until Saturday.
The Crusaders won the silver bracket at the Perryville Tournament and Wahlers was excited with the outcome.
“We finally had a majority of girls together and this was a good tune-up for the rest of the season as we get closer and closer together.
The Crusaders went 2-4 in pool play as they lost two of three sets against South Iron and Hillsboro. Leopold was originally scheduled to play in the tournament, but dropped out.
“I felt like we would play well for one set and then come came back and play not-so-well in the other two,” Wahlers said. “We had trouble spotting our hits and it was frustrating to say the least.”
Everything came together for Saxony in the silver bracket. The Crusaders swept Sikeston 25-12, 25-16 before beating St. Vincent in three sets 25-23, 16-25, 25-19 in what Wahlers called a “rivalry game.”
The Crusaders beat Advance in two sets 26-24, 25-23 in the championship game.
“They may not have the same players they had when they were winning state, but they are still a quality team who is very scrappy.” Wahlers said.
The Lady Indians finished 3-3 in pool play sweeping Doniphan 25-18, 25-22. The Indians were behind 17-11 in the second set before roaring back. They then fell to eventual champion Fredricktown in a close match 22-25, 19-25 and then split with Scott City. St. Vincent fell to Saxony in the opening round of the silver bracket in three sets .