PEORIA - Maddie Bushman stood a few feet away from the rest of her Sabino teammates, changing her shoes and taking the last of her volleyball gear off.
Before she could finish, the entire Sabercats team rushed over to her and gave her a group hug.
It was goodbye.
Despite 18 kills and 14 digs from the lone senior, second-seeded Sabino lost 26-24, 25-22 and 25-15 to No. 6 Prescott on Saturday in the Class 4A, Division I semifinals at Peoria High School.
"We all wanted to make the championship match and have a chance to play for a title, but it didn't happen," Bushman said. "We battled it out, but it just wasn't enough."
The first two sets were back and forth and the Sabercats (19-1) found themselves tied at 20 both times. In the opener, Sabino had a set-point, leading 24-23 and was in position to jump ahead and gain momentum.
Instead, Prescott (21-1) tallied the next three points to take a 1-0 lead.
The second set was more of the same. After Bushman picked up a kill to bring it to 22-23, Prescott again put Sabino away, winning the final two points.
"In the first two sets, it was the little things," Sabino coach A.J. Malis said. "A tip here, a long serve there. It was those types of things. I told our team before the match we had to do the little things well, but we didn't."
The third set was all Prescott.
After a tie at 5, the Badgers picked up the next seven points. Sabino rallied to 14-10, but that was the closest it would get.
"Prescott was just the better team tonight," Malis said. "They deserved to win it."
Courtney Spalt finished with 22 assists to lead the Sabercats. She also had eight digs. Junior Hannah Rebb had five kills and five digs in the loss. On top of leading the team in kills and digs, Bushman led in blocks (three) and aces (two).
"We have everyone back but Maddie next year and we have to find a way to replace her," Malis said. "But, I don't know if that's possible."