Granted, Goddard’s volleyball team had its sights set higher than a fourth-place finish in the Class 5A tournament.
But coach Shelby Zoglman also knows that her team’s showing in the tournament is something the Lions can build off of moving forward.
“Our school hadn’t been to state in nine years so this is our first time back in a really long time and honestly making it to the second day was our big goal and we did that,” Zoglman said. “Obviously you have your sights set on No. 1. The cards weren’t in there for us, but we have a lot of stuff that we can build on so I’m excited for next year.”
Even though it ended in a loss, Goddard turned in a solid performance in a 25-20, 25-17 semifinal loss to St. James Academy, which went on to claim its eighth state championship since 2008 and its fourth title in 5A.
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The Lions gave the Thunder their closest match of the tournament and Goddard was the only team to reach the 20-point mark against St. James.
Goddard was within 21-19 late in the first set against the Thunder and battled back late in the second set after trailing 22-11.
“It felt really good,’’ Zoglman said. “That first game was excellent. I felt like we were there with them. We gave them a couple of spurts of points and if we hadn’t had that, we would have been right there for sure.’’
The Lions, who finished the season 38-8, were unable to duplicate that effort in the third-place match against Lansing (37-7), but Zoglman said that 25-17, 25-15 loss is hopefully a lesson learned for the future.
Lansing jumped out in front of Goddard 18-3 in the first set before Goddard rallied and Lansing jumped out in front 19-7 in the second set.
“I told them that a good team has to be able to lose and come back but we didn’t do that today, unfortunately,’’ Zoglman said.
Goddard graduates three seniors off this year’s team, but returns a solid nucleus, including seven sophomores.
Sydney Morrow, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, had a big match at the net for the Lions in the semifinals.
“I have five returning (out of Goddard’s regular rotation) and three graduating and four of the five that are coming back are sophomores, so I have a solid core that will be here for a while,’’ Zoglman said.
After its semifinal win over Goddard, St. James (39-6) beat Aquinas (28-15) in the championship match 25-18, 25-17. Aquinas reached the championship match with a 25-18, 25-15 win over Lansing.