LANCASTER — Making only their third regional appearance in school history, the South Webster Jeeps fell to the Tuscarawas Central Catholic Saints in straight sets in a Division IV Regional Semi-Final match.
South Webster (20-6) was led by Brooklyn Sullivan who had 13 kills and nine digs. Olivia Messer and Avery Zempter also recorded three kills and two kills respectively. Zempter also had five digs. Mikaylah Belford led the Jeeps with 19 assists while Mikaylah Belford added six digs to the defensive effort.
The Jeeps trailed by at least eight points in every set before surrendering the match.
“We just lost to an amazing team,” Claxon said. “I would like to have seen us challenge them a bit more but it is what it is. They had way more fire power than we did.”
Claxon admitted that while she wanted to advance to the regional final match, she was elated to have the opportunity to move past district play.
“You think about where we started and where we’ve come, I think it’s huge.” Claxon said. “Nobody dreamed at the beginning of the year that this is where we’d be, and it’s good to set goals of that nature but we weren’t looking ahead, and we played in the moment. I think that this is just a payoff for working hard and for coming together because we don’t have a ton of fire power. We don’t have a ton of huge hitters but we were able to fight, we were able to scrap and we were able to make it to only our third regional appearance in school history.”
South Webster will lose Sullivan, Belford and Lauren Hill to graduation.
“The last several years we’ve had difficulty gelling as a team, being able to perform together and our goal at the beginning of this year was to just work on our team chemistry,” Claxon said. “Many people have said, ‘hey, did you ever dream you’d be here at the end of the season?’ And thankfully, this wasn’t even on my radar. Not because I didn’t believe in ability or anything like that, just because my No. 1 priority was figuring out how to create that team dynamic that we’ve had for so many years, but we’ve been lacking for the last several.
“These three seniors stuck it out and persevered, and for me, that’s what I’m forever grateful for. I’m grateful because not everybody is able to do that.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.