The St. James volleyball team (5-15) has played a slew of games this week, dating back to a two set loss to Sullivan on Thursday, Sept. 28. The Lady Tigers then took part in the St. Clair Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 30, before beating Belle on Monday, Oct. 2 and falling to Union on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
After falling to Sullivan 25-10, 25-11 on Thursday, St. James had a busy day in the St. Clair Tournament. Pool play started bright and early at 8 a.m., so they Lady Tigers had to fight through some grogginess. They led off the tournament against Pacific. Normally in pool play, teams will only play two sets, but St. James' pool was short a team, so they played three sets in both pool play games. The Lady Tigers lost all three sets to Pacific, but they put up a great fight. Pacific took the first set 25-18, but St. James fought back with a great second set. The Lady Tigers pushed Pacific to the brink, but the Lady Indians took the set 25-23. Pacific then took the third set easily 25-11.
St. James found a second gear in their second pool play game against Orchard Farms. After falling 18-25 in a tough first set, St. James was able to grind out wins in the second and third. The Lady Tigers were able to hold on to a 25-23 win in the second set, before winning the third set 25-19.
"We played six straight sets beginning at 8 a.m., and the girls came to play," said head coach Julie Guese. "I asked them to forget about what time it was and give 100 percent and that's what they did. They played hard and communicated well against two super strong teams in Pacific and Orchard Farms. Both teams had extremely strong hitters and, our digs along with our blockers getting some great touches were on during these games."
After a busy morning, the day ground to a halt. St. James had a few hours off before getting into bracket play and they lost a bit of their energy. The Lady Tigers faced Summersville in bracket play and managed to put up a fight before losing the first set 19-25. Summerville then took the second set 25-15 to end St. James' day. While the Lady Tigers made an early exit, Raina Forstrom was named to the All-Tournament team.
"The Summersville game was almost three hours later, and we did not come out with the same intensity as in the morning. I feel we would have won had we showed up like we did that morning," said coach Guese. "It's tough to end the day on a sour note, but we really did have a lot of bright spots that morning to look back and be proud of."
While Saturday ended on a sour note, St. James was able to start the week on a high note against Belle on Monday. Belle gave the Lady Tigers everything they could handle, but St. James managed to pull out the victory in straight sets 25-23, 25-21.
The Lady Tigers then returned to the Four Rivers Conference on Tuesday with a matchup against Union. St. James managed to grind out a big 25-23 win in the first set to take an early lead, but Union came back with a vengeance in the second set. The Lady Wildcats cruised to a 25-7 win in the second set before putting St. James away in the third set with a 25-18 win.
St. James will be back in action on Thursday, Oct. 5 when they'll host New Haven for Senior Night. They'll then play in the Linn Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 7, before wrapping up their regular season at St. Clair on Tuesday, Oct. 10. St. James' District seeding has not yet been announced.