Ladycats Fall to Knights
by Dennis Bowling
Beecher Volleyball Coach Emily Doersam had high expectations for the Ladycats this season. Everything came together when seniors Madison Irwin and Adrianna Picicco each took the leadership roles, and they went on to have a memorable season. But, it just ended way too soon for the Ladycats on October 29.
The Ladycats’ outside hitter Irwin registered eight kills and four service points. Beecher’s middle hitter Picicco registered five kills and four service points. But, Chicago Christian eliminated Beecher, 25-16, 25-19, in the second semifinal contest of the 2A Beecher sectional.
Beecher finished with an impressive 30-7 overall mark. The Ladycats had their six game winning streak snapped.
Doersam felt Irwin and Picicco each contributed great all-around play. They helped the Ladycats to win the RVC conference crown with a perfect 12-0 mark. They also led the Ladycats to a Wilmington regional title, their first in four years.
“I am very happy with what we were able to accomplish during this past season,” said Doersam. “We did come together, and we left it all on the floor.”
In the second game, the Knights had an 18-15 lead. Moments later, Doersam called a timeout, and Beecher came out fired up and ready to rally.
With the very supportive Beecher fans cheering loudly, a Kaylie Sippel blast cut the Chicago Christian lead to 19-16. Cheyanna Stluka’s kill narrowed the Knights’ advantage to 19-17. Chicago Christian scored two straight points for a 21-17 lead. A Knight long hit cut the advantage to 21-18.
Beecher’s back-to-back hitting errors enabled Chicago Christian to hold a 23-18 lead. Ladycat Arianna Avelar (three kills) had a kill, narrowing the deficit to 23-19. A Stluka long hit made it 24-19. Moments later, Chicago Christian won the match.
“This was not the outcome we wanted,” said Picicco. “But, we managed to accomplish plenty during this past season. I’ll miss playing with Madison. We did have a great season. I just wish that it did not end.”
“I will not be playing on this court anymore,” said Irwin. “We did give them a great match. Adrianna had some great placement hits. I am quite happy we were able to make it this far in the state tournament. This was our toughest competition.”
Stluka, a freshman middle hitter, summarized her first ever sectional semifinal contest.
“I am very upset,” she said. “I just knew we could have beat them. We did very well. I am very happy with how we did. I really do look up to Adrianna. I’ll miss playing with Madison. She is a great hitter.”
Junior setter Sippel finished with 16 good sets, four kills, and seven digs.
“It really stinks,” she said. “We were right there with Chicago Christian. I really will miss playing with Madison and Adrianna. Adrianna and I did have great chemistry. I will miss her hitting.”
Junior libero Margaret Landis had an outstanding 15 digs for Beecher.
Coach Doersam feels that the Ladycats have a very promising future.
“We have a lot of young players coming back next season,” she said. “We’ll see where it goes. We are hoping to have another great run in the state tournament next year. We have Rhiannon (Saller) and Cheyanna coming back. That is a lot of talent. Maybe, we can have Kaylie run a 6-2 offense. That would enable her to hit the ball more.”
Saller and Stluka are freshman middle hitters with a great future. With Sippel, outside hitter Arianna Avelar, and libero Landis also returning, look for the Ladycats to have an awesome 2019 campaign.