An unexpected loss to Arundel in the Class 4A East Region final ended Savannah Siegrist's hopes of capturing a state title in what was her final season as a member of the South River volleyball team.
Wasting little time to mourn what she termed a "tough loss," Siegrist headed south to North Carolina five days later and walked away with the 18-year-old Gold Division title with partner Brynn Carrick as part of the Eastern Sand Power League's 2016-17 Juniors Tournament Series.
"It was really nice to win after such a tough loss, but it was completely different," Siegrist said. "Losing to Arundel was the end of my high school year, so that was really sad. It was the last time I'll play with most of (her South River teammates). But getting back on my feet and starting that next season really helped me move on and focus on other things."
It is that dedication to her favorite sport and that unending drive to succeed that molded the senior outside hitter into Anne Arundel County's most feared and versatile player and this year's choice as the Capital Gazette's Player of the Year.
"Savannah is just a great all-around player," said South River coach Maureen Carter, the Capital Gazette Coach of the Year. "She sees the other side of the court very well and she's a shot-maker. She was just solid all year."
In leading South River to a 17-1 record and the county championship, Siegrist recorded 171 kills, 186 digs and successfully converted 94.1 percent of her serves with 33 aces.
"Savannah's greatest strength is her ability to see the court and play accordingly," Arundel coach Ashley Yuscavage said. "Mo Carter is an incredibly talented coach who is able to get the most out of all players, and I think that is what we saw this season — like so many others. South River's serve-receive, defense and setters were able to get the ball to Savannah regularly, so they should be commended for their work as well."
Those numbers almost mirrored Siegrist's performance in 2015 when she earned first team all-county honors by recording 129 kills and 229 digs while also converting 95 percent of her serves.
"Savannah is a solid all-around player who can help a team in a variety of ways, offensively and defensively," Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar said. "She has good passing skills and court awareness, and her hitting savvy made her tough to defend."
That was certainly the case on many occasions, including a regular-season victory against Arundel in which she had a team-high 12 kills, went 20-for-20 serving with five aces and was second on the team in digs with 17.
"I felt like I improved a lot as a player, as a teammate and as a captain," said Siegrist, who will play Division I beach volleyball at Jacksonville (Fla.) University next fall. "I'm proud of myself, but I wish we could have gone farther. I think we all have a good base of skills. We came in knowing we could do really well."