Bearcats spike host Bulldogs in volleyball sweep: Gering, Scottsbluff have final home matches Thursday night
     2012-10-19      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Gering senior Santanna Mitchell (No. 4) and freshman Allie Boggs (No. 3) back each other up for the bump on Thursday during the rivalry match against Scottsbluff. Mitchell made 11 kills, four blocks and two digs, while freshman Boggs had four blocks and two kills that evening.
 
While the Gering High School gymnasium was the host site for the fourth meeting between the Bulldogs and Scottsbluff on the volleyball court this season, the Bearcats and their fans turned the “Doghouse” into their own cage of red and black — with a lot of pink supplied by the SHS student section.

Scottsbluff, which rallied from two sets down and was two points from elimination when the teams met at SHS on Sept. 11, made sure the 2-0 lead the Bearcats mounted last Thursday didn’t go to waste and won a hard-fought victory in three straight sets.

Both Gering and Scottsbluff were at home against District B-6 opponents Tuesday night. The Bulldogs took the first set from likely B-6 tournament top seed Sidney before the Red Raiders charged back to take the next three sets and the match, while the Bearcats were swept by Alliance in three sets.

Scottsbluff 3, Gering 0

The Bearcats won three tight sets to score their second best-of-5 dual victory over the Bulldogs and their third win over the Bearcats in four matches this season.

Scottsbluff won the first set 25-19, the second 25-22 and the third and clinching game 25-21.

Scottsbluff senior Connor Ehler had 10 digs and 16 set assists for the Bearcats, while senior Brayden Auer powered the front line with eight kills and three blocks to go along with 16 digs.

Senior Alexus Pinedo added 14 service points and two kills, while senior Lauren Miller made 23 digs; junior Makayla Castro made seven digs, three kills and two service aces; and junior Kiley Guerue added seven digs and five kills.

“This is a very important stretch and we talked about that in pregame, that this is now the time we need our best volleyball and our most consistent volleyball,” Scottsbluff coach Megan Burda said.

“And they stepped up to the challenge.”

Many of the Scottsbluff students came dressed in pink to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and they defied the notion that pink is a calming color by cheering loudly for their Bearcats.

“We love the support and I love the pink too,” Burda said.

For Gering, senior Santanna Mitchell made 11 kills, four blocks and two digs, while junior Brooke Vowers had 17 digs; junior Kelsea Prieels had 27 assists and one ace; junior Katie O’Boyle had nine blocks and one kill; sophomore Kaylee Spreier made six kills and three blocks; and freshman Allie Boggs had four blocks and two kills.

“I just didn’t feel our overall aggression and intensity matched the effort that they gave,” Gering coach Craig Schadwinkel said. “I thought we did some things, but we just weren’t consistent enough to get over the hump. We were missing serves and doing various things that kind of affected us.”

The first set established the tone for all three games, with the teams tied at 11-all before Scottsbluff opened up a 17-13 lead. The Bearcats finished the set by winning four of the last five points.

In Set 2, Gering led a seesaw battle 13-12 before Auer had a tying kill and served five straight winning points. Pinedo made a reverse bump from the right sideline over the net that dropped in for the Bearcats’ leading point at 14-13.

Gering drew to win a point twice before Scottsbluff win three of the last four points.

In the final set, the Bulldogs jumped ahead 11-5 before the Bearcats rallied to overtake the hosts at 15-14 and built a 20-17 advantage. Gering got to within one on two occasions, but Auer’s kill at the net finished a 4-1 run for Scottsbluff and the victory.

Sidney 3, Gering 1

That hump Schadwinkel said the Bulldogs couldn’t get over against Scottsbluff? Well, they did in a big way Tuesday night in taking the first set from the Red Raiders, 25-19.

And the 28th-year, usually stoic Gering head coach let his emotions and excitement turn loose.

“When the kids listen to me and they follow our game plan, it’s just so much fun to watch and see,” said Schadwinkel, whose team is just 2-11 since Sept. 28 but is trying to find some late-season success in order to avoid having to play in the five-team district‘s “bunny bracket” game.

“Core-wise, I think our team is as good as anybody out there. It’s just that our record (6-22) doesn’t show it. We’re not giving up and we’re going to keep pushing through to districts, and that’s why you play the match. One of these times, it’s going to be on our side.”

Sidney (20-5) began Set 2 with a 7-0 run and en route to a 25-12 victory to square the match. In the third set, the Red Raiders had a 23-19 lead before the Bulldogs charged back with five unanswered points, including three straight kills by Spreier, that had Schadwinkel jumping for joy.

The set and a 2-1 Gering lead was on the serve of Prieels, who engineered the comeback run from the service line. But Sidney senior Karissa Segelke answered with a tying kill at 24.

Segulke hit a wide shot to give the Bulldogs another set point, but a net violation put the serve back in Sidney’s hands. Three straight points later, the Red Raiders were the ones with the 2-1 lead after winning the set 27-25.

The loss deflated Gering for the fourth set, falling behind 10-4 and watching Sidney win the set’s last 13 points for a 25-8 win and a 3-1 victory.

“In the fourth set, we quit believing in ourselves, and then we became a very average team,” Schadwinkel said. “If anything else, we got their attention. We may not have won the war tonight, but I think we won quite a few battles, and it’s something we can really look forward to and continue to build our confidence.

“They’ve got to believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. We have a great athletic team, and once we get all the pieces together, it’s going to be ugly on the other side of the net for somebody.”

For the night, junior Savannah Walker made 11 kills with three digs and one block, while Spreier had six kills, three blocks and one service ace. O’Boyle made five kills, six blocks, three digs and one ace serve, while Prieels made 28 assists, two blocks, one dig and one kill.

Defensively, Vowers had 27 digs with one assist, while Mitchell made seven digs, three blocks, one kill and two service aces. Boggs had five digs, four blocks, one assist and one kill.

Gering finishes its regular-season dual schedule Thursday at home against Bridgeport, with the varsity match set for about 7 p.m. The Bulldogs and Scottsbluff will then be in Alliance on Saturday for the Pilfold Invitational.

Gering is then off until District B-6 action, which is Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Perkins County High School in Grant. Seedings for the five-team tournament will be announced on Oct. 25.

Alliance 3,
Scottsbluff 0

Just when the Bearcats began to gain some late-season momentum, they ran into an Alliance team that is making its own end-of-year charge.
After losing the first two sets to the Bulldogs 25-9 and 25-21, Scottsbluff (9-18) found itself down 15-8 and in jeopardy of getting swept.

But the Bearcats regained their footing and surged back to tie the set at 16-all, the first of three straight deadlocks. Scottsbluff then ran off four straight points to take a 22-18 lead and appeared ready to extend the match.

But Alliance (15-10) stepped up to the challenge and scored seven unanswered points to head home with the sweep. The win improved the Bulldogs’ October record to 6-1 and was their fifth straight victory.
Before Saturday’s tournament action in Alliance, Scottsbluff will take on North Platte in the Bearcats’ final home action Thursday night with first serve at about 7 p.m.

Scottsbluff splits
triangular

After the Bearcats took care of Gering on Thursday, Scottsbluff earned a split of its home triangular Saturday by defeating McCook 25-20, 25-19 and giving a tough Ogallala team all the Indians could handle before Ogallala emerged with a 25-22, 15-18 win.

Auer led the Bearcats offensively against McCook (11-17), a District B-6 foe, with eight kills, and she also had five digs with three assisted blocks. Pinedo had three kills and freshman Chesney Walker had two. Ehler made 12 set assists, while Walker made eight digs, Pinedo dug seven balls and Castro had five digs.

Against Ogallala (20-9), Guerue had seven kills and shared the dig lead with Pinedo as each had 10. Walker, Castro and Auer had two kills apiece. Ehler had eight more assists and Pinedo had three while scoring two service aces.

Bayard sweeps in Morrill

The Tigers swept Hemingford and Morrill in a triangular at Morrill on Thursday, improving the Tigers‘ winning streak to eight out of 11 matches heading into their home triangular Tuesday against Creek Valley and Mitchell.

Bayard needed three sets and a gritty comeback to down Hemingford 16-25, 25-23, 26-24 and had a relatively easier time in defeating Morrill 25-21, 25-19.

For the matches, Breanna Korell scored 17 service points with four aces, five digs, three blocks and 19 set assists. Chellani Parriott followed with 13 kills, 10 digs and five blocks. Kaylyn Long added 18 set assists, 13 service points, four service aces, six digs and three blocks.

Also for Bayard, Megan Stuart made 12 blocks, 10 service points and five kills, while Chandler Rummel made 17 digs, scored nine points and aced two serves.

Mitchell defeated Bayard in two sets Tuesday night while the host Tigers (now 14-11) needed three sets to defeat Creek Valley.

Mitchell 3,
Bridgeport 0

In Thursday action at Bridgeport, the visiting Mitchell Tigers scored a 26-24, 25-13, 25-15 victory over the host Bulldogs.
Senior Taylor Peters powered the Tigers’ victory with 16 kills, 19 digs, two service points and one ace block, while Chalsey Grentz added eight points, four service aces, 25 set assists and 13 digs.
Mitchell (16-7) played in Bayard’s triangular on Tuesday night and defeated the host Tigers in two sets. Mitchell’s result against Creek Valley was unavailable at press time.


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