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­­­Gering opens at Gillette Invitational
September 07, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

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The Gering volleyball team started its 2012 campaign on the road at the Gillette, Wyo. Invitational on Aug. 31 – Sept. 1.

The Lady Bulldogs got off to a shaky start in their first match against Cheyenne Central. After dropping the first set 25 – 21, the came back to win the next two by scores of 25 – 20 and 25 – 23.

Advancing to the semifinal match, Gering lost to Rapid City Central in straight sets: 26 – 16 and 25 – 18. The Bulldogs wrapped up the weekend with a win over Scottsbluff, 25 – 23 and 25 – 19.
“We’re tall and athletic but inexperienced at the varsity level,” said Gering Coach Craig Schadwinkel prior to the road trip to Wyoming. “This weekend will be a great opportunity for us to get some varsity experience under our belt.”

He added that last year, the team lost a great group of seniors who took them to the state tournament. For 2012, one senior returns and the rest of the team are underclassmen, so a lot of them didn’t get varsity playing time. So he said it could be a rebuilding year.

“We really don’t have different goals than in past years,” Schadwinkel said. “We’d like to win our conference, then districts and make it back to the state tournament. I think if this team grows on a daily basis, those goals are attainable.”

Schadwinkel said it’s hard to judge how some of their matches will measure up. Chadron has a few of their starters back, as well as Sidney. Alliance has a new head coach, as does McCook. And Mitchell is in the same situation as Gering in losing a lot of seniors.

“Right now, we’re more concerned about what we’re doing on our side of the net,” he said. “The biggest thing we have to develop is good ball control. That’s what we’ve spent most of our time with so far.”
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