Central Nebraska Volleyball
The Minutemaids withstood a tough tournament last week going to the Twin Cities Tournament in Scottsbluff. They went 2-4 during this big tournament with wins over Scottsbluff and Spearfish, SD. They will finish off the regular season with triangulars at Adams Central, McCook and Holdrege with the Central Conference Tournament in there too.
The Haymakers are on a 10 match losing streak. Their depleted numbers have hampered their opportunities to win games against teams that they would normally match up with pretty well. They will close out the regular season hosting their own tri with Ord and a very good Broken Bow team before going to Valentine for a tournament and then the SWC tourney in Gothenburg.
The Swedes are on a good run, they have won 6 of their last 7. The Swedes are beating teams they should beat and seem to be playing into form as they get closer to post-season. Gothenburg will take on arch-nemesis Ogallala in the Valentine Triangular. That game should tell us a lot about this Swede team. Chloe Royce continues to be impressive for the Swedes with 162 kills to lead the team. Gothenburg has improved its serving percentage to over 90%, but that will need to continue to improve prior to tournaments. Jaiden Davis, who may be the best athlete on the team, is averaging 10.7 digs per match. Also, the play of freshman Emily Cornwell has been impressive, she leads the team with 370 assists.
The Dusters closed out the week with a much needed win over Ord at a triangular. They swept the Chanticleers in straight sets for one of the better wins of the year for Holdrege. Might give the team some momentum going into the last part of their season. Megan Belgum has 58 kills to lead the team. Taylor Wiser leads defensively with 107 digs averaging 8.9 per match. The Dusters take on Centura this week before starting Central Conference Tournament Games.
The Eagles continue to play well, they are winners of 8 of their last 9. Their only loss was to 22-2 Hastings St. Cecilia. The Eagles are 13th in power points in C1. They need to finish strong. They have three regular season games with Silver Lake, Minden and Alma before RPAC conference starts. Followed by C1-10 districts where they will face Adams Central, Gibbon, Kearney Catholic and Minden. Which should be a challenging district. Lauryn Samuelson continues to be one of the best players in our area with 249 kills and an excellent .367 hitting percentage.
It has been an up and down season for the Bulls in their first year of existence. At the moment, the market is bearish for Hi-Line as they have lost 5 of their last 7. They have one scheduled regular season game remaining, against Arapahoe, before the always competitive FKC Tournament. Hadley Marin leads the Bulls with 177 kills on the season. Alivia Knoerzer has 40 service aces while Martin is serving at 96%. Katy Bartell and Knoerzer are doing a good job of setting up their teammates as they both have 174 assists.
The Eagles coming into this week at the No. 5 team in D1 (according to power points). They are also riding a 6 game winning streak prior to their final stretch of regular season games. They now prepare for FKC and a final game against Kearney Catholic. Hailey Fleischman certainly would get lots of votes for area player of the year as she leads the Central Nebraska Volleyball Blog with 261 kills and an amazing .429 hitting percentage. Her and Rachel Ecklund are an imposing front line as they have 35 and 33 blocks respectively.
ARAPAHOE - 1-18
The good news is that the Warriors got off the schneid this week with a win over Paxton (1-14). For Arapahoe the monkey was getting heavy, I am sure it is good to get it off their back. The Warriors start their RPAC Tournament on the 21st. Arapahoe has time to hone their skills with 5 regular season games still to play prior to districts. Emerson Swanson is doing well as a freshman with a 92 serving percentage, one of the highest on the team. Terri Hilker continues to be the star of the team leading the Warriors in both kills and digs.
AXTELL - 13-6
Its been a bit of a roller-coaster for the Wildcats. They have been on a win-one-lose-one roll lately. Axtell will play three more regular season games before heading to the FKC tournament. The Wildcats have a three-headed monster at the net as Erica Bertrand, Nicole Cederburg and Morgan Miller are right at 100 kills for the season. As a team, Axtell is serving 93.5%. Bertrand is also averaging 9.4 digs per match.
The Buffaloes closed out the week with a couple losses to a couple very good team in Pleasanton and South Loup. They will take on Alma and Gibbon on the road before heading to FKC. Elm Creek continues to get good production from Ashley Brown who has 156 kills. They are serving 92% as a team. Avery Sindt makes a better door than a window with 27 blocks. Finally, Maci McCarter has 206 digs averaging 10.8 per match.
BERTRAND - 13-4
The Vikings enter this week riding a 3-game winning streak. They knocked of Giltner, Hitchcock County and Axtell. Bertrand will be involved in a tournament at Sandhills/Thedford before heading to North Platte for the RPAC Tournament.
After a long dry spell the Wolves got to feed last time out with a win over Wilcox-Hildreth. The FKC looms large for the Wolves prior to district action. Alexis Billeter leads the team with 108 kills. Georgia Crandall is the top server at 95%. Caitlyn Wahls leads the team with 18 blocks. Paige Booe leads defensively with 11.4 digs per match.
SEM - 9-10
The Mustangs come into the week with two straight set wins over Sandhills/Thedford and Sandhills Valley. SEM will take on Maywood-Hayes Center before preparing for the FKC tournament at the Viaero Center in Kearney.
It has been an up and down couple weeks for the Minutemaids, They were only able to pick up one win at the Central City Invite, loosing to Boone Central and Hastings before beating Central City in straight sets. Then at their own triangular they lost to Ogallala in straight sets before dominating Cozad. Lexington is hoping the return by Cordelia Harbison, the talented sophomore outside hitter will help make them more consistent down the stretch. In the meantime, good net play by Taylor Woehrle and Jackie Ostrom has kept Lex on the attack. Outstanding setting by Liah Haines will also be key to them down the stretch. Look for the Minutemaids to be playing pretty good ball by districts. We will know more about them after this weekend when they take part in a triangular hosted by Adam Central.
The Haymakers did pick up their first win of the year over Arapahoe on the 17th. Other than that, it is has been tough going for this young and often out-numbered squad. Coach Neleigh Niles continues to get good play from Brittney Aitken at the net and the hitting ove Riley Neinast from the outside along with the hitting of Austyn Snider. The Haymakers will look to improve their hitting percentage this week as they will be involved in two triangulars one in Cambridge and then their own where they will face Ord and Broken Bow.
The Swedes have been up and down at times over the last two weeks, but are on a three-match winning streak, including four of their last five. One of their more impressive matches recently might have been a loss to a very good Hastings team. Actually, let's be honest, the most impressive move they made this week was pulling their bus into the Team Jack headquarters and dropping of a check and then wearing Team Jack t-shirts for their warm-ups, pure class Coach Mahlberg. Chloe Royce leads the team in the power category with 135 kills on the year, freshman, Kynlee Strausser is in triple-digits also with 108. Bella Rickertson has 28 aces on the team to lead in that category. Libero, Jaiden Davis is doing her job with an impressive 3.9 digs per set. The Swedes have an opportunity for a good week as they take part in a couple triangulars where they should compete well.
The Dusters ended the last week with a win over Cozad in straight-sets. Megan Belgum has 58 kills to lead the team. Taylor Wiser continues to lead the Dusters with 3.6 digs per set. Mallory Pfeifer is doing a nice job setting the ball averaging 4.1 assists per set. Holdrege will look to continue their win streak with games against Seward and Ravenna this week as well as playing, Broken Bow, Gothenburg and Ord.
The Eagles are really playing some good ball, to no ones surprise. They have won 8 of their last 9 and are riding a 4 game win streak coming into this week. Lauryn Samuelson has 197 blocks and an impressive, .367 hitting percentage. Jennifer Moenning is also hitting above .300 with 153 kills. Grace Hogeland is averaging about an ace a set. Samuelson is also a beast at the net defensively with 31 blocks. Moenning leads the team with 9.9 digs per match. This team rolls into Kansas on Tuesday and then will take on Cambridge and Hoxie in a triangular.
The Warriors are still in search of their fist win on the year. This week they may have a chance with games against Med Valley and Paxton. Arapahoe is still struggling hitting the ball, but Terri Hilker leads the way with 48 kills on the year. Lauren Bahe is averaging 6.9 digs per match to tie with Hilker in that category.
A couple agonizing losses over the last couple weeks for the Buffaloes. Both of the straight set losses as they dropped games to Overton and South Loup. They will be tested again this week as they take on a good Hi-Line squad and then they will take on 16-1 Pleasanton before rematching with South Loup. Ashley Brown is leading the team with 135 kills and a .213 hitting percentage. Avery Sindt has 16 blocks on the season while Maci McCarter is doing a great job defensively averaging 10.5 digs per game.
AXTELL - 12-6
The Wildcats continue to win the games they should win, knocking off teams that have poorer records. Look for them to roll this week before a 10.10 match with Pleasanton. Erica Bertrand leads the team with 99 blocks on the year, however one of the things you notice is that several Wildcats do well at the net, five girls have over 60 kills. Freshman, Lexie Eckhoff has 15 blocks up front. Bertrand plays defense too averaging 8.5 blocks per match. This team has a lot of players, lets see if they can now knock off some power teams down the stretch.
BERTRAND - 13-4
The Vikings took a hard fought loss this week to Pleasanton in 3 sets, then went on a winning streak, beating 3 teams with winning records. That bodes well for Bertrand down the stretch. The Vikings will be favored in the rest of their regular season games as they had to conferences.
It's been a rough road the last couple weeks for the Wolves. They come into this week riding a 7 game losing streak. They will look to change that this week against Amherst and Wil-Hil. Hanna Stewart had 74 kills to lead the team Alexis Belleter has 67 kills. Caitlyn Wahls has 10 blocks for the Wolves. Paige Booe is averaging 9.2 digs per match.
The Eagles have won 12 of their last 13 games. The only loss coming to Class C1, Broken Bow on the 28th. Overton has been so dominate it has only lost 6 sets all season. They might be tested this week as they take on 13-5 Alma. They, along with Kearney Catholic, are the only teams remaining on their schedule with a winning record. Hailey Fleischman continues to set the standard with 226 kills and hitting .421. Wow! Rachel Ecklund has 178 kills and is hitting an impressive .389. Ecklund also has 24 blocks. For good measure, she also has 151 digs on the year. The Eagles are kind of good.
SEM - 8-10
The Mustangs have won 2 of their last 3 as they try to catch some momentum heading into conference tournament. They will take on Sandhills Valley on Thursday then have a match against Maywood-Hayes Center looming.
Hadley Martin, Kennedy Brell and Gracie Gibbens continue to play well for the Bulls. A couple losses this weeek. One to a good Overton team and one to a 6-12 Amherst team. The Bulls are still trying to find their footing as we move closer to the post season. Three regular season games left. It will be interesting to see how Hi-Line challenges Pleasanton on Thursday. The Bulldogs are 16-1. The Bulls first FKC tournament is coming up, that should also be very exciting.
Week Three Review
LEXINGTON - 5-4
Only one game this week for Lexington as they lost in four sets to
Hershey on Thursday 25-7, 11-25, 25-21, 25-13. This week they take on Broken Bow and Hastings. The Indians will be a test on Thursday as they come with a record of 6-1. Hastings is also tough at 7-4. This is a big week for Samantha Hammond's bunch as they look to get back to their winning ways.
The Haymakers are still looking for win number one on the season. Cozad started off the week playing pretty well against Hershey on Tuesday losing in 5 sets and then losing a three set match to St. Pat's. This was before straight set loses to Broken Bow, Ainsworth, Centura and Valentine. Brittney Aitken still leads the way with 32 kills will the team is only hitting .026. Aitken also leads the way for the team with 11 blocks. Makenna White has 3.2 digs per game while Jaycey Smith averages 2.9.
It was a tough week for Gothenburg as the Swedes lost 3 of 4 games to drop below the .500 mark. The one win on the week was a 3 set victory over Ainsworth. Otherwise, they dropped matches to St. Cecilia, Centura and South Loup. Kynlee Strauser leads the way with 47 kills while Carly Jensen sports a .192 hitting percentage. Bella Rickertsen leads the team with 10 aces, however, Coach Mahlberg
would like to see the 87.8 serving percentage improve. At the net, Chloe Royce has 7 blocks averaging just over one per game. Defensively, Jaden Davis leads the way with 7.7 digs per match, followed by Chiara Richeson who is averaging 7.4. The Swedes battle the Irish from St. Pats on Tuesday and then will host their own invite this weekend.
Only one match this week for Ashley Axmann's Dusters as they lost in straight sets to McCook. Holdrege did not hit well that game managing a -.079 percentage. Megan Belgum had 2 kills to lead the team. Against McCook the Dusters serve % was 81.5. However, Tayler Wiser did have 3 aces on the night. Belgum averaged 2.7 diggs against Bison. Holdrege will take on York on Tuesday and then travel to Central City on Thursday.
After a loss a couple weeks ago to Gothenburg, the Eagles have reeled off 5 wins in a row and seem to be really playing into form. Southern Valley had a straight set win over Franklin and then got a hard earned straight set win over Elm Creek. The Eagles also beat Southwest, Wood River, Hershey and Pleasanton. In fact they only lost one set and that was to Wood River. Southern Valley is hitting a decent .227 this season, including Lauryn Samuelson who is hit .333 herself. Many schools only have a handful of blocks on the season Samuelson has 15 herself. The team is averaging 46.3 digs per match, Jennifer Moenning is averaging 15 to lead the team. Southern Valley hosts a tournament this weekend.
It goes without saying that it has been a tough start to the season for the Warriors. Arapahoe was swept in a tournament this weekend by Hitchcock County, Alma and Wauneta-Palisade. Lauryn Bahe is the leading attacker on the team with 37 followed closely by Terri Hilker with 36. Adrienne North leads the team with 8.1 digs per match. In the something has to give game the Warriors will take on winless Cozad at a triangular involving Alma in Alma. They will then turn around and on Thursday and play in a tough Southern Valley Triangular with Bertrand.
The Buffaloes went 3-2 over an important week. They opened it up against Southern Valley and lost in three sets. 23-25, 25-17, 25-11. Ashley Brown led the team with 11 kills in that game. Maci McCarter had 2 aces. After the loss to the Eagles Elm Creek went on a three-game winning streak beating Franklin, Sutherland and Hershey before losing to undefeated Pleasanton in straight sets. Brown has 93 kills on the year. As a team they are serving successfully 94% of the time. McCarter isn't afraid of getting dirty as she is averaging 11 digs per match. Elm Creek will host a triangular with Wil-Hil and Overton this weekend.
AXTELL - 8-3
The Wildcats are rolling, winning 7 of their last 9 games. Their two losses this week came at the hands of 8-1 Overton and 10-0 Maywood-Hayes Center. Axtell continues to play good defense, led by Erica Bertrand who is averaging 3.6 digs per set and Nicole Cederburg with 3.2. Hanna French has 15 aces on the year and as a team the Wildcats are serving at 93%. Morgan Miller is dominate at the net with 74 kills. They will host their own triangular with Shelton and Wil-Hil, then to Hi-Line for a triangular involving Loomis as well as the Bulls.
BERTRAND - 7-2
The Vikings are another good team in our area. They have won 5 of their last 6, their only loss during that stretch was to upstart Hi-Line. They have actually only last 5 sets all year. Besides there loss to Hi-Line, they started the week beating the Bulls along with Silver Lake and Hampton. No stats were made available for those games. Betrand has a big tri coming up where they will take on Southern Valley and Arapahoe. The Vikings and Eagles match up should be a good one!
The Wolves hosted the 9/11 tournament last weekend and went 1-2. They beat Shelton and lost to Silver Lake and Hi-Line. Alexis Billeter leads the offense with 51 kills, however Loomis is only hitting .009 as a team. Hanna Stewart is averaging 3.7 digs per set. Loomis will travel to battle at the Hi-Line Triangular along with Axtell, it should be a great challenge.
We thought at the beginning of the year that this would be a good team, well, we got that one right. Only one loss on that year and that was to undefeated Pleasanton. The Eagles have lost only 3 sets on the season. This week they dispatched Axtell, SEM and Cambridge all in straight sets. They have Maxwell and Wil-Hil this week along with a very interesting match-up with Elm Creek. Rachel Ecklund is one of the best front-line players in Central Nebraska. She is hitting .350 from the net and has 88 kills. However, the best hitter in Central Nebraska plays along side her, Haley Fleishman is hitting over .400 with 121 kills. Talk about your 1-2 combo! Ecklund also plays some great defense as she averages 3.3 digs a set.
SEM - 3-5
The Mustangs went 1-2 last weekend losing to Hershey and Sutherland before beating Wood River in three sets. They will play Amherst this week before taking part in the North Platte Community College Tournament. Abbie Rohde leads the team with 13 aces and a 92 serve percentage.
This week was the "running of the bulls" as upstart Hi-Line won 4 out of 5, including 4 in a row, knocking off Elba, Franklin, Bertrand and Loomis. Their only loss this week was to Bertrand. They play Cambridge and then host a triangular with Axtell and Loomis before joining the North Platte Community College Tournament. No stats were made available.
Week Two Review
The Minutemaids continue to play pretty good ball with sweeps over Schuyler and Hershey and a 2-1 win over Holdrege. Mixed in Lexington took their first losses of the year to Hastings in straight sets and 2-1 to North Platte St. Pat's. Just one game scheduled for this week and it's a rematch against Hershey on Thursday on the road.
The Haymakers continue to look for their first win on the season. They lost to a good Southern Valley team in straight sets on Thursday. Brittney Aitken has 19 kills on the season. Makenna White has played good defense this year for Cozad with 21 digs so far this season. The Haymakers take on Hershey Tuesday night before going to North Platte for a triangular against St. Pat's and Broken Bow.
After a nice five set "grind it out" victory over Southern Valley Tuesday, the Swedes dropped a three set sweep to Broken Bow on Thursday. Chloe Royce and Kynlee Strausser continue to attack at the net for Gburg. Royce has 32 kills and the freshman, Strausser has 26. Royce also has 8 service aces and 7 blocks to lead the team in both categories. Jaiden Davis, Bella Rickertsen and Chiara Richeson have hit the floor most with over 20 digs each. The Swedes will host South Loup on Thursday before taking part in the Cozad Invite this weekend.
It's been a rough start for the Dusters. They lost all five matches this week including straight set losses to Minden, St Paul, Hershey and Hastings, along with a 1-2 loss to Lexington. Mallory Pfeifer is having a good season sporting a .208 hitting percentage. Taylor Wiser has 5 aces and a 90 serving percentage. Wiser is also playing good defense as she averages 6.4 digs per match. Holdrege will host McCook on Tuesday, both teams are looking for their first win.
The Eagles went 1-1 on the week with a tough loss to Gothenburg and then a win over Cozad. Senior, Jennifer Moenning continues to play well, hitting over .300 from the net. Lauryn Samuelson has 45 kills already this season. Samuelson also has 14 blocks on the season. Grace Hogeland has 11.7 digs per match to pace the Eagles in that category. Southern Valley gets to work on Tuesday with a triangular against Elm Creek and Franklin then hosts Southwest on Thursday, before the Elm Creek Tournament on Saturday. It's a busy week for the Eagles, we should know more about them after this week.
The Warriors looks to get on track this week as they continue to look for that elusive first win. They are struggling right now from the net only hitting .022 as a team. Terri Hilker leads the team with 27 kills. The Warriors only have four blocks so far on the season. Lauren Bahe has done a good job defensively averaging 10.3 digs per match. Arapahoe looks to get in the "w" column this week. They will take on Maywood-Hays Center and Loomis, before going to the Hitchcock County tournament on Saturday.
Elm Creek came down to earth a bit this week as they lost to Betrand and Axtell before beating Arapahoe in straight sets on Friday. Junior, Ashley Brown dominates at the net with 60 kills on the year and a .200 hitting percentage. As a team, Elm Creek is hitting .204. Whitney Bauer has 10 service aces on the year. Maci McCarter and Samantha Knapp lead the team with 3.3 digs per set. We will know more about the Buffaloes after this week as they take on Southern Valley and Franklin in Elm Creek's triangular, then they will host a tournament on the weekend.
AXTELL - 4-1
The Wildcats are off to a strong start. They went 3-1 this week with straight set wins over Silver Lake and Palmer and a five set win over a good Elm Creek team. They will face Overton this week in a triangular with SEM. The Eagles are 5-1, so it will go along way in helping us to understand this team. We do know that Axtell is attacking. As a team they have 176 kills, including Morgan Miller, 42; Erica Bertrand, 40 and Nicole Cederburg, 31. The Wildcats continue to serve the ball well, at a 92% success rate. Freshman Lexie Eckhoff has 11 blocks on the year, to lead the team. Bertrand also likes to get dirty as she has cleaned the floor 54 times at a ratio of 3.6 per game. Along with the Overton Triangular, Axtell will travel to Trenton to participate in the Hitchcock County Invitational.
BERTRAND - 4-1
The Vikings continue to play good ball as they began their week with a 25-22, 25-17, 28-26 win over Amherst on Tuesday night. In that game Johanna Ford had 12 kills to pace Bertrand. Along with that win, the Vikings got wins over Elm Creek and Alma and lost to Cambridge. They will take on Hi-Line on Thursday and be part of the Loomis 9/11 Memorial Tournament this weekend.
The Wolves went 0-2 this week with losses to Pleasanton and Overton. They play Arapahoe and Maywood-Hayes Center Thursday in a triangular then head to the Loomis tournament this weekend. Alexis Billeter leads they way with 29 kills, Hanna Stewart has 22 and Darla Thorell has 20. Unfortunately for the Wolves, they are hitting -.014 on the season. Caitlyn Wahls is the leading blocker on the team 7. Stewart is the best digger so far with 3.9 per set.
OVERTON - 5-1
As was expected, this is a good Overton Eagles volleyball team. They had wins this week over Ravenna and Loomis while being beat in straight sets by unbeaten Pleasanton. How about Rachel Ecklund? She leads the team with 64 kills and a great hitting percentage of .321. As a team the Eagles are outstanding attackers with a .218 percentage as a team. Ecklund also has 9 aces on the year. Haley Fleischman is doing the job on the defensive side with 3.1 digs per set. Overton hosts Axtell and SEM in their triangular this Tuesday and will travel to Cambridge on Thursday.
SEM - 2-1
The Mustangs are coming off of wins to Hi-Line and Wilcox-Hildreth this week, both in straight sets. They will head to Overton for a triangular on Tuesday with Axtell and then they will be off to the Elm Creek Tournament this weekend. Senior, Sara Glatter has 15 kills on the year to lead the attack for SEM.
The Bulls continue to work to come together as the two schools continue this sports consolidation. They went 2-1 this week with wins over Wil-Hil and Med Valley. Sandwiched in-between was a three set loss to SEM. It's a busy week for Hi Line as they take on a good Bertrand squad on Thursday; go to Elba on Friday and then the Loomis Tourney on Saturday. We will get a good look at how the Bulls have come together by next week.
Week One in Review
It's week one in review for the Volleyball Blog
The Minutemaids got off to a good start with a 3-1 victory over McCook. It wasn't easy 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23
Lexington will host Cozad on Tuesday, a game that can be heard on KAMI. Then they will take on Holdrege and Minden in a triangular on Thursday
It was a tough start to the season for the Haymakers as they took a straight set loss at the hands of Gothenburg to open the season.
They will look to right the ship this week as they travel to Lexington on Tuesday. On Thursday they will host a good Southern Valley team.
It was a strong start to the season for the Swedes. They were successful on only 86% of their serves but, dominated Cozad 25-11, 25-18, 25-9. Chloe Royce led the way for the Swedes with 10 kills. She also had 7 service aces. Kynlee Strauser add 5 aces of her own.
The Swedes travel to Southern Valley on Tuesday and then to Broken Bow on Thursday.
The Dusters are yet to get their season schedule underway. They will open up against a good Lexington team on the road on Thursday.
The Eagles hosted the Hi-Line Bulls in the Bulls very first game. Southern Valley looked good, winning in straight sets 25-14, 25-8, 25-21. Lauryn Samuelson had 13 kills on the evening, while Jennifer Moenning had 10 kills. The Eagles were successful on 91% of their serves, including 5 aces by Samuelson. She also did well at the net with 4 solo blocks and 2 block assists. Head coach Jessie Thalheim was impressed. "It was a good showing of our potential for the season," Thalheim said. "Our serving was very sold. We had good distribution of people in the front row contribute to point from kills and block and everyone played fast and reactive defense."
Southern Valley hosts Gothenburg on Tuesday and goes to Cozad on Thursday.
Tough start for the Warriors, losing to Hitchcock County and Overton in straight sets. The also lost to Shelton and Hitchcock County again during the Overton Tournament. Lauren Bahe is the leading attacker so far with 19 kills. Terri Hilker leads the way defensively with 3.4 digs per set.
Arapahoe looks to get in the win column this week at a triangular involving Dundy County-Stratton and, once again, Hitchcock County.
As expected, the Buffaloes are a pretty good volleyball team. They have opened up with straight set victories over Ansley/Litchfield and Amherst. Ashley Brown looks to be dominate this year, already accounting for 18 kills. Elm Creek is serving well also at 93%. Samantha Knapp is leading the team with 3.8 digs per set. The Buffaloes will travel to Bertrand on Tuesday and then host Axtell on Thursday.
AXTELL - 3-1
Axtell played well in their own tournament beating Sliver Lake and Palmer after losing to Lawrence-Nelson, who is undefeated. The Wildcats opened up the year with a win over Loomis. Axtell travels to Elm Creek on Thursday.
BERTRAND - 1-0
The Vikings opened up with win on Thursday against Southwest in straight sets. Bertrand will travel to Elm Creek on Tuesday
and then host a triangular on Thursday with Cambridge and Alma. We should know more about this team after this week.
The Wolves opened up the season with a loss against Axtell. Then participated in the Axtell Tournament where they went 1-2, losing to Lawrence-Nelson and Dundy Country-Stratton before getting their first win over Hampton in straight sets. Alexis Billeter is off to good start in her Junior year, starting off with 21 kills. Darla Thorell has 5 aces on the season. Meanwhile, Hanna Stewart has 7 total blocks so far. Loomis goes to Pleasanton for a triangular with Overton and the host school.
OVERTON - 3-0
Not surprisingly, the Eagles are off to a good start. They have wins over Anselmo-Merna and Arapahoe in straight sets and a four set victory over Central Valley. Hailey Fleischman has been dominate at the net where she is averaging 6 kills per set. Rachel Ecklund is contributing over 4 per set. The team is also averaging nearly 95% on serves. Good match up on Tuesday against Ravenna. Then Overton will play in a triangular in Pleasanton that includes Loomis.
SEM - 0-1
The Mustangs opened the year with a four-set loss to Gibbon. SEM will go to Hi-Line's first triangular on Thursday.
Hi-Line - 0-1
The Bulls opened up with perennial power Southern Valley to start their volleyball program. The Bulls battled, especially in what would be the final set, but lost 25-14, 25-8, 25-21. Hi-Line will host it's first ever volleyball games on Thursday when they have their triangular with Wilcox-Hildreth and SEM.
Talk about a program that seems to be heading in the right direction, Lexington showed flashes of brilliance last year. They enter this season with five returning starters and a sixth that played a great deal. This will be a very young team though as there is no seniors. Third year head coach Samantha Hammond knows that will be a challenge. "We are still young and small," Hammond said, "we will have to focus on defense and running a faster offense to be quicker than other teams since we will always be undersized." Cordi Harbison had a great freshman season last year leading the team with 350 kills and 10.5 blocks. Brisa Garcia did a lot of dirty work with 265 digs.
Lex will host McCook to open the season on Aug. 29.
The Haymakers return three starters: Jr. S, Jacey Smith; Jr. MH, Brittney Aiken and Jr. OH, Makenna White. Head coach Neleigh Niles feels like her program really grew in her second year. "We have an awesome group of athletes coming back into our program who want to be here because they love the sport," Niles said. Cozad is blessed with young talent coming onto the team, a great sign of success. "We have a great group of freshman coming into our program. They are motivated, coachable and they love the game of volleyball." Look for continued improvement from Cozad.
The Haymakers open the season on Aug. 29 at the Gothenburg Invite.
The Swedes return a bevy of experienced players to this year's team including Jamie Graff, Sr.; Tessa Oliver, Sr.; Chloe Royce, Jr.; Jaiden Davis, Jr.; Bella Rickertson, Jr.; Chiara Richeson, Jr. and Jaycee Stupka, Sr. along with Cozad transfer; Carly Jensen, So. Davis was second team All-SWC last year averaging 10 digs and 10 service receives successfully. Gothenburg will not be very tall, so fifth year head coach Bryson Mahlberg says they will rely on their defense. "We need to be very good servers and passers," Mahlberg said, "we have some quick girls and are going to need to rely on our defense to stay in rallies." Mahlberg though, expects the Swedes to be very competitive and a have a shot at winning the conference and district.
The Swedes will be hosting their invite on Aug. 29.
Third year head coach Ashley Axmann will return four starters from last year's team. She says she likes what she sees coming back this year. "We are getting stronger each season and are ready to compete against some tough opponents on our schedule and prove we have what it takes to be a good team," Axmann said.
Returning as starters this year for the Dusters are Anna Weed, Sr.; Taylor Wise, Jr.; McKenna Ortgiesen, So. and Brooklyn Berney, So.
Holdrege opens up the season in Minden at a triangular with Lexington on Sept. 5.
Head Coach: Jessie Thalheim LY: 19-13
It has been quite a run for Southern Valley, they are 84-38 in the last five years. It is tough to find a team in this area that can match the success of the Eagles over that stretch. Successful programs just continue to reload. No exception with Southern Valley this year as they return six starters. Sr. OH, Mandy Schoen; Sr. MH, Lauryn Samuelson; Sr. S, Grace Hogeland; So. MH; Krista Best; So. OH, Aubrey Brown and So. MH, Brianna Quinn. Coach Jessie Thalheim should have another successful year with all of the experience coming back. She has a specific goal for this team. "A goal for our team this year is to transform our mindset and truly focus on WE before me," Thalheim said.
The Eagles open up at home as they will be the first team to take on the newly establish Hi Line Bulls.
The Warriors will returns four starters from last year's team. Coach Katie Helms, in her third season, says they have some holes to fill. "We lost a lot of players in key positions from last year," Helms said, "players will be playing positions they might not have played before. I think we will benefit from our quickness and aim to be scrappy." Starters coming back include: Sr. MH, Hannah Utterback; Sr. OH, Terri Hilker; Sr. OH, Lauren Bahe and Sr. DS Caitlyn McCorkle.
The Warriors begin the season at home against Hitchcock County.
Look out for the Buffaloes this year. After a very successful season last year, eight starters return for Brandi McCarter's 12th team. "Every season I hold my expectations of our team very high," McCarter said. "We always set our goals, as a team, to achieve the conference regular season champion, conference finals, the state tournament, etc. I don’t look for that to change."
Elm Creek will be led by Juniors Whitney and Abby Bauer both of whom were recognized with honors after last season. Also look for contributions from Jr. OH Ashley Brown; Jr. L Maci McCarter; Jr. MH, Haley Stone and Jr. S, Morgan Sindt. Notice, no seniors. Further, there are good sophomores behind them. Could be a special year in Elm Creek.
AXTELL - Head Coach: Brad Nelson LY: 20-10
Last year, the Wildcats finished third in the tough FKC. Kaily Trampe, Sr. S; Erica Bertrand, Sr. OH; Morgan Miller, Sr. OH and Hanna French Sr. RS look to continue the success this year. Head coach Brad Nelson, who is only seven wins from 500 on his career, likes the team he has coming back. "Our strengths will be our passing and defense," Nelson said, "we also return our setters and main servers." Axtell won't have a lot of size, that means defense and passing will be at a premium for them.
Axtell opens on on the road against Loomis.
The Vikings return five starters from last year's team that competed well in the FKC. Jr. S, Erin Boggs is one of the better players in the area, combined with the hitting of So. OH Johanna Ford, the Vikings could have another good year. Co-head coach Lisa Mason knows the road won't be easy for her young team. "We will continue to develop throughout the season with some young athletes," Mason said. "We should compete, but will face some solid teams in the area and in conference play."
Other returning starters include: Jr. MH, Aleya Hueftle; Sr. L, Jada High and Sr. R, Jennica Dannehl. Bertrand will open up their season with a home game against the Rough Riders of Southwest.
Paige Booe, Sr. L; Darla Thorell, Sr. OH; Alexis Billeter, Jr. MH and Caitlynn Wahls, Jr. MH return as starters this year for Head Coach Carrie Trompke in her second year with the Wolves. She likes what she has coming back. "We return a lot of experience from last year which includes a powerful front row combination of Darla Thorell, Alexis Billeter, Caitlynn Wahls and Hanna Stewart," Trompke said. "We will be working to quicken up our offense and we will have great leadership in the back row from Senior Libero Paige Booe. I see us being very competitive in our conference and district this year."
Booe is a four-year starter for Loomis. The Wolves open at home against Axtell.
OVERTON Head Coach: Hayley Ryan LY: 20-10
Much like their football counterparts, the Overton Eagles have high expectations coming into this year. "Last year we had some newcomers that had to step into varsity positions," head coach Hayley Ryan said. "We really came together by the end of the season." Overton will return Rachel Eckland, Jr. MH; Hayley Fleischman, Jr. MH; Allie Altwine, Jr. OH; Anna Brennan, Jr. S and Kenze Scheele So. OH. Ecklund actually broke the season kill record last year with 368.
"I have confidence that with some time, these girls will be back competing at the same level if not better that last season," Ryan said. Overton will be hosting their own tournament on Aug 31 where they will open up against Arapahoe.
SEM - Head Coach: Tammy Kenton LY: 12-17
Tammy Kenton enters her second year as head coach. She feels like the team really improved last year as the season went on and says she expects that to continue as the season begins. "We really felt that as last season progressed we continued to get better in each aspect of the game," Kenton said. Consistency is the key according to Kenton and she hopes her team develops. They have the experience to do that with seven seniors. "Having a large number of seniors can be good or bad, depending upon each player accepting their role," Kenton said. "I believe it will be a good thing and we will have a competitive season."
SEM opens up on the road against Gibbon.
This is the first season for the Bulls. Elwood's and Eustis-Farnam's volleyball teams, along with the schools' basketball teams, will be doing a sports coop this season. Head Coach Lori Knoerzer will be welcoming several players to the line-up with experience. Hadley Martin, Sr. OH; Katy Bartell, Sr. S; Karissa Hodge, Jr. S; Gracie Gibbons, Jr. OH; Alivia Knoerzer, Jr. S; Gretchen Hodge, Jr. DS; and Kennedy Brell, Jr. OH.
It is always interesting, and sometimes a struggle, when you put two rivals together the first couple years. Veteran coach Knoerzer is looking forward to the challenge. "With this new partnership, we are anxious to start creating a culture that promotes, tough training, tight bonds and competitive leaders," Knoerzer said.
The Bulls will travel to Southern Valley for their first-ever game.
Minden Falls in C1-5 District Final
Minden started postseason play with a win over Kearney Catholic with a five-set match. The set scores were 25-21 Minden, 25-22 Kearney Catholic, 25-18 Minden, 25-19 Kearney Catholic, and 15-8 Minden. Jensen Rowse had 17 kills for Minden. The Lady Whippets then fell to GICC three sets to none. The set scores were 25-14, 25-12, and 25-15. Minden did have enough power points though to play in the district final against GICC and they fell three sets to none. The final record for the season for the Lady Whippets is 22-12.
Bertrand Falls in District Final
Bertrand was able to grab a couple of wins last week in subdistrict play. Bertrand first took down Loomis three sets to one and the set scores were 27-25 Bertrand, 26-24 Loomis, 25-20 Bertrand, and 25-22 Bertrand. Lindsay Shutz led Bertrand with 21 kills. Bertrand then swept Eustis-Farnam and the set scores were 25-9, 25-14, and 25-11. Grace Schwarz led Bertrand with nine kills. Bertrand then faced Exeter-Milligan in the district final, and it was Exeter-Milligan who won three sets to one. Bertrand finishes the season at 17-13.
Overton Makes it to District Final, Falls to Pleasanton
Overton made a run in postseason play as they began with a three sets none win over Elwood. The set scores were 25-19, 25-13, and 25-17. Rachel Ecklund and Hailey Fleishman combined for 34 kills. Overton then beat Axtell three sets to one and the set scores were 25-21 Overton, 26-24 Overton, 26-24 Axtell, and 25-17 Overton. Ecklund had 27 kills and Fleishman had 20 kills. Overton then fell to Pleasanton in the district final three sets to none. The set scores were 26-24 Pleasanton, 25-22 Overton, 25-23 Pleasanton, and 25-15 Pleasanton. Overton finishes the year at 21-11.
Loomis Beats Wilcox-Hildreth, Falls to Bertrand
Loomis began subdistrict play with a nice win over Wilcox-Hildreth three sets to one. The set scores were 25-8 Loomis, 25-21 Wilcox-Hildreth, 25-9 Loomis, and 25-19 Wilcox-Hildreth. Megan Butler led Loomis with 11 kills. Loomis then faced rival Bertrand and lost three sets to none. The set scores were 27-25 Bertrand, 26-24 Loomis, 25-20 Bertrand, 25-20 Bertrand, and 25-22 Bertrand. Alley Beisner had 15 kills and Megan Butler had 11 kills for Loomis. The Lady Wolves finish the year at 11-15.
Alma Finishes at 15-13
Arapahoe Falls to Elwood
Axtell Falls in Second Round of Subdistricts
Axtell began subdistrict play against Alma and won three sets to none. The set scores were 25-21, 25-21, and 27-25. Morgan Miller and Camille Fishell each had seven kills for Axtell. Axtell then fell to Overton three sets to none. The set scores were 25-21 Overton, 26-24 Overton, 26-24 Axtell, and 25-17 Overton. Erica Bertrand had 17 kills and Fishell added 16. Axtell ends the season at 20-10.
Elwood Ends Season at 12-15
Southern Valley Wins First Match in Postseason, Drops Second
Southern Valley was able to win their first match in postseason play over Maxwell three sets to none. The set scores were 25-16, 25-16, and 25-23. The Lady Eagles though, fell in their next match to South Loup three sets to none and the set scores were 25-21, 25-12, and 25-17. Southern Valley finishes the year at 19-13.
Eustis-Farnam Falls to Bertrand to End Season
Lexington Falls to McCook, Season Ends
SEM Falls to Pleasanton
SEM began subdistrict play against Twin Loup and won three sets to one. The set scores were 25-20 SEM, 25-19 Twin Loup, 25-17 SEM, and 25-13 SEM. The Lady Mustangs were led by Sarah Glatter as she had 11 kills. SEM then fell to Pleasanton three sets to none and the set scores were 26-24, 25-13, and 25-23. Lindsey Dittmar had 11 kills for SEM. SEM finishes the year at 12-17.
Cozad Falls to Gothenburg to End Season
Holdrege Falls In First Postseason Game
Gothenburg Wins First Match, Falls to Ogallala
Gothenburg began postseason play last week, and initially, they took down Cozad three sets to none. The set scores were 25-16, 25-12, and 25-13. Amaya Ackerman had eight kills to lead Gothenburg. The Lady Swedes then fell to Ogallala three sets to one and the set scores were 25-19 Gothenburg, then the next three to Ogallala 25-12, 25-21, and 25-16. Lauren Johnson had 10 kills for Gothenburg. The Lady Swedes finish the year at 16-18.
Elm Creek Falls in Subdistricts
Lady Cardinals Split Matches
Alma had two matches this past week and went 1-1. Alma first took down Wilcox-Hildreth three sets to none and the set scores were 25-17, 25-9, and 25-11. Kayla Kindler had nine kills to lead Alma. Alma then fell to Southern Valley three sets to one and the set scores were 25-22 Alma, then the next three to Southern Valley, 25-17, 25-14, and 25-16. Carlee Stuhmer had 13 kills for Alma. Alma enters subdistricts with a 15-12 record and will take on Axtell.
Loomis Takes Down Arapahoe
Loomis and Arapahoe battled on the court this past week and it was the Lady Wolves who won three sets to none. The set scores were 25-23 Loomis, 25-18 Loomis, 25-16 Arapahoe, and 25-22 Loomis. The Lady Wolves were led by Alley Beisner and Megan Butler as they combined for 27 kills. Arapahoe was led by Mariah Watson as she had 13 kills. Loomis will face Wilcox-Hildreth in subdistricts. Arapahoe will face Elwood subdistricts.
Minden Wins Two More Matches
Minden had two matches this past week and won each of them. The Whippets began with a win over McCook two sets to none and the set scores were 25-22 McCook, and the next two to Minden25-19, and 25-17. Minden then took on Chase County and won two sets to none and the set scores were 25-21 and 25-20. Minden will battle Kearney Catholic to begin subdistrict play.