SHERIDAN — The Sheridan College volleyball team closed out the first half of Region IX play Saturday at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
The Lady Generals celebrated senior night, but the joy stopped there. For the first time this season, SC lost in conference play, dropping a 3-1 decision to fellow unbeaten Laramie County Community College.
“We all knew this team was going to be hard coming in,” Sheridan’s Karlie Sorenson said. “And I think we all knew we needed to play to a higher standard knowing that they were LCCC.”
The Lady Generals may have known that coming in, but it didn’t materialize until midway through the first couple of sets. SC fell behind big in the first set en route to a 25-14 loss and couldn’t complete a comeback in set two en route to a 25-19 loss.
“We need to work on the first part of the set,” SC head coach Jennifer Stadler said. “We come out a little slow every set, so that’s something we’ll focus on this next week, so that we are not always having to come from behind.”
The Lady Golden Eagles scored a good number of their points around the net, utilizing their length and size advantage to the fullest. LCCC boasted five players 6-foot-1 or taller, and it took a while for the Lady Generals to adjust.
Sheridan opened the third set with newfound confidence, jumping out to a 13-8 lead, but couldn’t stave off an LCCC rally.
The teams went back and forth down the stretch, each earning game-point — and in the Lady Golden Eagles’ case match-point — scenarios before the Lady Generals finally closed the door for a 31-29 victory.
And even though Sheridan couldn’t bottle up that momentum and use it in set four, losing 25-17, Stadler enjoyed watching her team’s never-quit attitude.
“I think we are definitely very resilient as a team,” Stadler said. “We battled back, and we are not giving up. … I think we’ve showed a lot of that through the year. I think we’ve faced adversity a lot this season, so far, just with injures and different things like that.”
The loss snapped the Lady Generals’ five-match win streak that dated back to Sept. 21. Sheridan sits at 5-1 in the league good enough for second place within the North Division, a game behind the Lady Golden Eagles and two games ahead of a pack of third-place teams — Casper College, Northwest College and Western Wyoming Community College.
The Lady Generals have an opportunity to get back on track Tuesday at home against the Lady Thunderbirds. Sheridan blanked Casper College just a couple weeks ago and will look for a similar result Tuesday.
“It’s always nice to turn around and be able to play whether or not we win or lose,” Sorenson said. “… Coming off a loss always sucks, but I think we’ll be able to bounce back because we’ll all just want to keep our record high.”