Gering-influenced West sweeps all-star volleyball match
     2012-06-07      By Terry Gaston   
SCOTTSBLUFF – Team Gering’s influence was more than evident in the West All-Stars’ five-game sweep Saturday in the 28th annual West Nebraska All-Star Volleyball Match at Western Nebraska Community College’s Cougar Palace.

Gering coach and West head coach Craig Schadwinkel said he was blessed to not only have graduated Bulldog teammates Morgan Greene and his youngest daughter, Kayleigh, on his West squad but to have a wealth of western Nebraska talent that extended from Hay Springs to Perkins County.

And the way the 12 talented teammates for a week jelled under the tutelage of Schadwinkel and assistant coach Lacey Wurdeman of Sioux County was executed with a dominant performance. The West swept all five games by scores of 25-21, 25-16, 25-21, 26-24 and 15-11.

“I was really blessed the committee really gave me the kids that they did,” said Schadwinkel, who was an assistant on the 1986 Nebraska squad under a Nebraska-Wyoming format. “They came in and best well, and all I did was sit here and have fun with them.”

On the contrary, Schadwinkel was coaching as hard as he does every fall in the Gering High School gymnasium. Even with the match clinched, Schadwinkel was still working the West players as hard as he was from the first serve.

Schadwinkel said an exercise Friday, in which the West players took on the coaches in a big-ball competition, helped formulate the competitive spirit of the team and led to the eventual 5-0 game victory, which the West had also done in 2003 and 2007. The West now leads the series, 17-11.

“We did a lot of competitive things like that in practice,” Schadwinkel said. “We did a really fun drill Friday afternoon, where the players had to win three straight sets. If the coaches won a set, we had to start over.

“We had to pick an assemblance of lineups, and it was so tough for Coach (Wurdeman) and I to do that because we had so much talent. With that drill, Coach and I saw how competitive they were.”

In only one game, the fourth, was the East ahead by as many as five points, 16-11, before kills by Mitchell’s Andee Grentz, Perkins County’s Tanya Metcalf, Hay Springs’ Kelsy Kudrna and Ogallala’s Savannah Welsh helped forge a 20-all tie.
Kills by Grentz and Perkins County’s Kristin Beck finally gave the West the game, 26-24.

“Those girls pulled together and had a strong determination to work, and we had some big kills and blocks and pulled together for that win,” said Kayleigh Schadwinkel, who was chosen by media members and East coaches as the Most Valuable Player of a West team that turned in solid and balanced numbers.

“We had such amazing girls, it was a team effort for this award,” said Schadwinkel, who had 14 service points with a team-high two aces, made three kills, nine digs and nine setting assists. “Everyone worked really hard together and meshed together well, and we were fast on offense and fast on defense.”

Greene and Schadwinkel put their experience together since seventh grade to work with a block in the first game to keep a run of five straight points alive for a quick 10-3 lead. It was a stretch that the East cut into by only as close as 23-21 before the West finished by scoring off two East errors.

“We’ve played so long together that we just knew each other’s tendencies,” Schadwinkel said. “It was a real asset to have that mesh one more time and to be able to play together one more time.”
Grentz and Scottsbluff’s Morgan Yost shared the West lead in kills with six apiece, while former Mitchell teammate Nicole Houston had two solo blocks.

Greene was tops in digs with 12 and Yost had 10.
Perkins County’s Beck had 13 setting assists, and three players that included Bridgeport’s Ashley Stevens had four blocking assists each.
Andrea Werth of Eustis-Farnham was chosen as the East MVP, the first such honor for a player from the Class D2 school in Frontier County.
Werth had an East-high six kills, with one assisted block and 12 digs. Other East leaders were Lexington’s Zulema Reyes with 13 service points and two service aces, Brady’s Megan Polt with 15 digs and Valentine’s Amanda O’Kief with 15 of 17 assists.

Kayleigh Schadwinkel said that the chance to play for her dad, who led the Bulldogs to the Class B state tournament the past two years, one more time was a blessing.

“He has such a knowledge and wisdom of the game that is phenomenal,” Kayleigh said. “I was blessed to be in a game with him one more time.”

While Kayleigh goes off to Doane College in Crete to continue her volleyball career – a decision on which she said she only decided to make in late April – her dad will face a rebuilding task in the fall for his 28th season as Gering’s head coach.

And Saturday’s father-daughter finale proved to be more emotional on the coach who taught his daughter to volley with balloons when Kayleigh was old enough to stand on her own.

“It’s kind of hard, but with her being named MVP, it really sends her out a winner two ways,” he said. “It was a really special day.”

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
787Gering-influenced West sweeps all-star volleyball match
1059Boys upstaged at Gering Invite: Strong female finishes for Scottsbluff, Gering
989All Points West: Not a lot of honor in sloppy game
738Former Bulldogs Newman, Spreier lead West to volleyball victory
844Scottsbluff wins conference golf tourney
865Bearcats prey on struggling Bulldogs
1046All Points West: Nebraska’s ready for a leader in Armstrong
933Bulldogs heading into stretch: Gering prepares for post-season with 5 games left
884Tigers pounce on ’Horns, 46-30: Mitchell’s Gilliland scores 4 TDs
1212’Dogs ousted from districts
1035All Points West: Waterboy, the most valuable player
619Area football players learn from the best
594Scottsbluff boys finish regular season with win at Torrington
742Gering, Scottsbluff girls undefeated for week
688Bulldog boys begin road swing with win at Alliance
1039Big hearts, big hits in Minatare win
989All Points West: Huskers leave nothing to chance
581Bayard claims fourth team title this season
728Krzyzanowski remains perfect after win in GHS tourney
874Bulldogs stopped by Huskies, weather
Most Read Sports 2012
3751Mitchell track off to a strong start
3603Morrill baseball back in business
2905Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2817Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2470Raising the bar high
2439Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2421Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2278Gering wrestling builds on experience
2251Doing the heavy lifting
2178Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2135Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2008Gering resident lives his dream
1987Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1933All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1898Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1896Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1890All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1877Bearcat coach nears finish line
1858All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
1848Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
Most Read Sports 2011
3751Mitchell track off to a strong start
3603Morrill baseball back in business
2905Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2817Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2470Raising the bar high
2439Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2421Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2278Gering wrestling builds on experience
2251Doing the heavy lifting
2178Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2135Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2008Gering resident lives his dream
1987Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1933All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1898Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1896Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1890All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1877Bearcat coach nears finish line
1858All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
1848Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on