FAIRFIELD — After a car crash took the life of one of its high school students Friday night, the Sandy Creek community needed a win just as badly as the Cougar volleyball team.
In the quarterfinals of the Southern Nebraska Conference tournament against Sutton Monday night, three days after Sandy Creek senior Casie Gibbs was killed in a car crash that also sent three fellow Sandy Creek students to the hospital, the Cougars showed an added sense of resiliency in overcoming deficits and miscues to sweep the Fillies 25-14, 25-23, 25-20.
“I think tonight it was more of a mental battle with everything going on,” said head coach Angie Morris, whose third-seeded Cougars face second-seeded Thayer Central in the semifinals today at 6:30 p.m. in Milford. “To be able to come out and play mentally tough for three sets and to win, I’m very impressed. It shows the character of these girls and their hearts.”
The team bounced back against heartbreak from Friday’s tragedy and after losing four of its previous five matches, including a four-set loss to the hands of Sutton last week. Morris said that lost really kicked the team back into gear, reminding the players to be more consistent and intense for long periods of time.