By Christopher Johnson


Following a loss to nearby neighbor Stillman Valley this past week, the Byron Lady Tigers found themselves on the backside of the pack looking up, as the late games of the Big Northern volleyball season prepare to come to a close.

On Monday, April 12, Byron and Stillman Valley got the chance to tip up on the grounds of Stillman Valley High School.

It was the start of the final regular season week on the 2021 fall into spring schedule, and the start of the last push towards the Big Northern lead pack for the Lady Tigers.

By the end of the night, the hosts had outpaced their guests and survived a three game set to pull out the Big Northern win, two games to one.

The Lady Tigers were strong in the opener as they found ways to get the serve to count and as a result, add up small advantages throughout the first set.

Stillman Valley fought back but could not get the important shots to fall when they needed them most and slipped in the opener 25-20.

It was the strongest play of the night for Byron. It would end up being the only win of the night, however.

The host Lady Cardinals began to find ways to work around the Lady Tigers defensive sets and re-collected the home field advantage to force an extended night of game play.

Kills found homes on slight areas on occasion in the game two follow-up for Stillman Valley. The Lady Tigers began to shift out of position. The Lady Cardinals won game two 25-19, forcing a decisive game three.

Not too much time was set prepping in the third and final game on Monday night. Sillman Valley grabbed control and would not relinquish it.

A more aggressive style of play and more constructive point-collection sets helped stretch the hosts edge on more than one opportunity in game three.

As the last whistle sounded, Byron found itself on the downside of a 2-1 decision, losing game three 25-13 and falling to 3-7 on the season. Stillman Valley held ground with its six-loss season..

Three wins put the Lady Tigers on the back side of the middle ground with Dixon and Winnebago ahead of the Lady Cardinals in the Big Northern picture.

Byron went into Stillman Valley with a focus in place, to hopefully collect the win and get out of town with a better overall standing on the season. It didn’t quite happen as they had hoped, the conference chase ended for many programs, long before Byron and Stillman Valley tipped things off this past week.

With 9-1 marks, the State-ranked Lady Crusaders and Lady Rockets still only manage a one-win lead over third place Oregon and one game more over Genoa-Kingston.

On Tuesday, April 13, Byron fell to top-ranked Rockford Lutheran 2-0 in Big Northern play to help close down the 2021 season.

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