The Gilbert Tigers dominated the court and secured a victory in their last regular season home game against Williams Field after battling in the in the opening of the first set winning 3-0.
With the last regular season home game making it special for each player, it also made it for the seniors because it was senior night for them and they all wanted win tonight but it took a little toll in the first set with the score going back and forth.
“I think in our minds, it was the emotions after the pre ceremony,” senior captain Maddison Cadden said. “Like everybody didn’t have a clear mindset at the point.”
As the players get the win in the first set, the game went upward for them with the team dominating on their side.
When the Tigers entered into the second and third set, they had a strong start racking up multiple points letting Williams Field score at various times in each set.
With Naia Stewart being the leader in kills and Mckenzie Shoenhardt leading the team in digs led to a victory in the last two sets, 25-12 and 25-12.
Offensively Stewart made a big impact on the victory racking up 15 kills but she also had help from sophomore middle blocker Sydney Mahon having 10 kills at the end of the game.
On the defensive side, Shoenhardt lead the team with 15 games making it hard for Williams Field to score a point.
With this making it the last home game of the regular season, it also meant it was the last home game for the seniors, Cadden, Macie Beaudoin, Korrina Pace and Morgan Sanner, which made it more special for them.
“It was a little bitter sweet,” Beaudoin said. “It definitely has emotion towards it but I am excited for playoffs and we will have another home game.”
Cadden and Sanner will be continuing their careers at South Mountain Community College while Pace looks to attend Fort Lewis College in Colorado to continue playing at the next level. Beaudoin will be going to East Valley Institute of Technology for cosmetology and later hopes to attend a community college for business.
The seniors know that the season is not over and they have more to accomplish with next week and in the playoffs.
“We really just need to get better after every game,” Stewart said. “We are going to try and get better every game we play and have a positive outcome every time.”
The Tigers will finish the season off with two more away games against Casteel on Oct. 27 and Sunrise Mountain on Nov. 3 but even though the team got a win tonight, it is all about their performance with their final two games and playoffs.
“Away games don’t matter as the state tournament,” coach Hesse said. “We didn’t play great and if we have any more games like the way we played tonight than it will be a shorter season than we hoped.”
Austin Ford is a sports journalism student at Arizona State University covering Gilbert High School athletics.