The longest postseason run in the history of the Ready High School girls volleyball program ended Thursday at Wilmington in a five-game loss to Versailles, the nine-time defending Southwest District champion.
After winning the second and third games, the Silver Knights struggling the remainder of the match and lost 25-20, 20-25, 11-25, 25-18, 15-12 loss.
Versailles improved to 19-7, and the Silver Knights finished 18-8.
"We had them on the ropes after game three," coach Mike Kusan said. "In the fourth game, we were winning 4-0 and then they scored eight straight points on us. We struggled in game four. Our passing became somewhat erratic. We seemed to be pressing too hard. In game five we fell behind 10-3 but got back to 12-10."
Ready was coming off a 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13 over Amanda-Clearcreek in a district final last Saturday.
It was the final prep match for seniors Samantha Covey, Sarah Gabel, Kelly Gantz and Cayla Watson, who helped the team improve from 14-9 a year ago in Kusan's first season to earn the fourth seed for the district tournament.
"I can't fault their effort, and I can't fault their intensity," Kusan said. "I thought we had a good week of practice, and I was very pleased with our amount of preparation. (Versailles) is a really good passing team. Their middle hitter gave us a few problems. It came down to a couple breaks here and there and we just didn't get the job done. Our serve-receive seemed to unravel a little bit at times. Give them credit.
"We opened up some things for our underclassmen this year. Winning a district championship was our No. 1 goal. From last year to this year, it was another step of improvement."