There was no storybook ending to a record season for the Beachwood volleyball team.
The Bison, who set a school record with 15 victories, dropped a 3-0 decision to Columbia in a Division III sectional final at Elyria on Wednesday. Despite the loss, which dropped Beachwood to 15-6 overall, first-year coach Sarah Schoenhagen was pleased with the performance of her players all season long.
“At the end of the day, we’re really proud of the girls,” Schoenhagen said. “To have such a turnaround season, they really brought it together and accomplished a lot. Today’s loss doesn’t trump what they did all season and they have done a lot.”
Columbia, the No. 6 seed at the Elyria District, won the match 25-12, 25-19, 26-24.
“The confidence we struggled with all season, I think that was probably our biggest weakness all season, that’s what got the best of us today,” Schoenhagen said. “We made a lot of errors. Columbia didn’t do anything amazing; we just made a lot of errors.”
After a slow start in games one and two, the Bison rallied back from a 16-3 deficit in the second set to gain some momentum heading into the third game.
“We actually started to pick it up and we came back and fought but it was too little too late,” Schoenhagen said. “We played better in the third game. It’s disappointing because we’ve had such a great season. It wasn’t the way we wanted to finish.”
The Bison played the Raiders nearly even in the third set but came up short.
“You could see it with the girls,” Schoenhagen said. “It wasn’t the type of performance or how they wanted to finish the season. Volleyball is a mental game. They have the skill but it was just that little piece inside of them that we’ve been fighting all year to keep them (playing confidently).”
Schoenhagen plans to remain active with her players during the off-season and she hopes to see more of the Bison continue to play club or JO volleyball this winter.
“It takes a lot of hard work to change the mentality and culture,” she said. “I hope more kids play club or JO, especially if they don’t play a winter sport.”