Bridgeport outplays Bayard to capture C2-12 sub-district title
     2012-11-01      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo Bayard junior Megan Stuart (No. 9) prepares to volley, while teammate seniors Chandler Rummel (No. 11) and Kaylyn Long (No. 4) prepare to set during Tuesday night’s sub-district match against Morrill. Both teams ended their seasons, with Bayard progressing to finals where they were defeated by Bridgeport. 
No. 1 seeded Tigers sweep Morrill in tourney opener

SCOTTSBLUFF – Bayard High School volleyball coach Cindy Korell said her Tigers had been notorious slow-starters during the regular season.

Despite having a slow start in their Sub-District C2-12 tournament semifinal match Tuesday night at the Scottsbluff High School gymnasium, the Tigers proved worthy of their No. 1 seed in sweeping the Morrill Lions.

But in the championship match against Bridgeport, by the time the Tigers recovered from a two-set deficit and won the third set, execution let them down.

And thus the Bulldogs, which swept Hemingford in their semifinal match, rode the momentum from that victory, overcame their own eventual execution mishaps and scored a four-set victory to win the sub-district title.

Bridgeport, which gained the No. 2 seed despite having a less-impressive record than Hemingford, overcame its resulting tougher schedule — and about a 20-minute delay in the third set when the ball sailed straight upward and shattered the SHS gym’s wrestling spotlight — to sweep the Bobcats, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23.

The Bulldogs will play North Platte St. Patrick’s (28-1) on Friday in the District C2-6 championship match Friday for an automatic berth to the state tournament next Thursday through Saturday in Grand Island.

Bayard 3, Morrill 0

The Tigers rode the momentum of a 25-23, first-set win over Morrill in the semifinals to sweep the next two sets 25-15 and 25-12, ending the Lions’ season at 7-17.

It wasn’t that long ago that Bayard was suffering first-round sub-district losses. In Cindy Korell’s first two seasons, the Tigers went 13-17 and then what she called a deceiving 5-20 mark last year.
”We had lost about 10 matches where we lost by two points going into the third set,” Korell said of her young team’s season last fall. “So this year we had a different focus and it was to win when you are ahead and just keep pushing it.

“I think we have done a good job of that this year, everybody’s a year older and more mature and that certainly helps.”

Because of injuries, however, the Tigers needed a lift from some younger players, and Korell said freshman outside hitter Miah Vera played a key role in her first postseason match.

Morrill had an early 10-6 lead in the first set after an 8-1 run, but Bayard tied the match at 15-all and the teams were tied at 23 in closing out the game. But a long serve gave Bayard the lead, and Tiger senior Breanna Korell served up an ace to secure the first set for the Tigers.

“We’re kind of a slow-starting team and that has been our theme all year. I was hoping we could get out of that,” Coach Korell said. “Winning that first set is such a momentum. We have freshmen on the floor because of injuries, so we wanted to make sure that they were comfortable in their roles.”

Freshman outside hitter Miah Vera, who had 15 successful serves, was also perfect on 13 hits with seven kills.

“Miah Vera stepped it up big time. She had six aces, spot serving and that was key, and I think I think that helped the rest of the girls relax and she really stepped up big for us.

Breanna Korell made 22 set assists, scored 14 service points and had five aces. Junior Megan Stuart was 14-for-16 on hits with nine kills and also had six digs and three solo blocks. Junior Rachel Frerichs had four kills, and senior Kaylyn Long had eight points and five assists.

In Set 2, Bayard broke loose with a 14-2 run that put the Tigers ahead 18-5 and they eventually led 20-6. Morrill closed to within nine at 24-15, but a hit into the net gave Bayard a 2-0 set lead.
The final set was all Tigers, who jumped out to an 8-0 lead, built it to 14-3 and finished with three straight kills – one by Stuart and two by Frerichs to win the set by 13 and the match in three straight games.

Bridgeport 3, Bayard 1

While the Tigers awaited the Bridgeport-Hemingford winner before they could take the court for the sub-district title match, the Bulldogs turned right around after their semifinal win and kept their momentum going from their victory over the Bobcats.

Bridgeport took an early 9-3 lead before Bayard closed to within a point with five straight scores. The Bulldogs held two more five-point leads before they followed Bayard’s 15th and final point of the set with six unanswered points for a 25-19 victory.

The second set began with the Tigers building an 8-3 lead before the Bulldogs caught up at 11-all and finished a 7-0 run with a 15-10 lead. Bridgeport built that advantage to 19-12 and eventually to 22-14 before finishing the set with that same eight-point margin at 25-17 and a 2-0 set lead.

“Credit Bridgeport. They’re a good team,” Korell said after the teams split their two meetings this season. “We knew it was going to be a hard match. It always is when we play, and they just happened to come out on top tonight.”

Bayard made another early-set lead stand in the third game, however, taking a 5-1 advantage to ignite a run that left the Tigers up 18-10. The Bulldogs closed to within three twice and then to with a point at 21-20, but Bayard finished the set on a 4-1 run to close Bridgeport’s set count favor to 2-1.

“That is one thing this team does is fight and they don’t ever give up,” Korell said. “No matter how far down we are, we just have a way to keep playing and working hard. And that’s what I told the girls, I said’ That’s all to you, that’s your heart and you play with your heart.’”

Bayard led the fourth set 5-2, but Bridgeport forged ahead 7-5. The Tigers tied the Bulldogs on three occasions before Bridgeport charged ahead 17-14 with three straight points and fended off two Bayard rallies to within a point. The Bulldogs closed out the match with for unanswered points.

“We struggled passing at times, and obviously it’s a serve-pass game,” Korell said. “I thought we picked up our serve and started serving better and little tougher and that helped. But when you can’t pass the ball, you can’t run an offense and we struggled at times.

“I don’t know if it was enough to make a difference in the game, but at this stage you have to play pretty much perfect volleyball in order to win.”

For the Tiger seniors, Breanna Korell finished the final match with 26 set assists, 15 good serves with five aces and eight service points. Long had 10 good serves for eight points, two aces, seven digs and four blocks.

Vera had another strong match by going 13-for-16 on hits with two kills and 11 good serves with eight points. Stuart was 33-for-36 on hits with 13 kills and had nine blocks and five digs.

Frerichs had 10 blocks and was 14-for-16 on hits with six kills. Junior Hannah Lenhart made 10 of 14 hits with seven kills, was 12 of 16 on serves with nine points and also made three blocks.
The loss left the Tigers with a 15-13 record for the season. But the results from Tuesday night still cannot take away from Bayard the fact that the Tigers earned the No. 1 seed for the sub-district.

“That was very exciting for us because it has been a very long time since we’ve been in that position,” Coach Korell said. “We’ve worked really hard to get here and to that point, so it’s fun.

“I told them that they left their hearts out on the court, that they did everything they could to win. We had our share of mistakes, but so did they, and it’s hard to win when it’s that tight.”

C1 sub-districts

On Tuesday at Alliance High School, Mitchell scored a four-set victory over Kimball in the Sub-District C1-12 semifinals, but the No. 3 seeded Tigers were eliminated by top-seeded Chadron in four sets. Mitchell’s season finished with a 23-8 record, while Kimball was 18-8.

Chadron (27-2), which swept Gordon-Rushville (11-21) in the sub-district semifinals, will play for the C1-6 district title on Friday against Ogallala (26-10).

D1 sub-districts

In Sub-District D1-12 action Monday at Bayard High School, Minatare’s season finished without a victory in 22 matches, but not before the Indians took the second set from Crawford in the teams’ first-round match.

Minatare eventually lost in four games to the Rams, 25-17, 23-25, 25-13, 25-9. Crawford (4-20) then faced top-seeded Potter-Dix but lost to the Coyotes in four sets.

In the other semifinal Monday, No. 2 seed Creek Valley defeated No. 3 Garden County (7-18) in four sets.

In Tuesday’s final, Potter-Dix won the sub-district with a four-set win over Creek Valley (9-13), 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 25-15. The Coyotes (16-11) will play Sutherland (23-6) on Thursday for the D1-6 district title and automatic trip to state.

D2 sub-districts

In Sub-District D2-12 action at Sidney, No. 5 seeded Banner County’s season came to an end Monday at 4-25 after a three-set loss to fourth-seeded Hay Springs, 25-21, 25-7, 25-21.

The Hawks (10-17) then were ousted in three sets to top-seeded Leyton. In Monday’s other semifinal, third-seeded South Platte needed four sets to oust No. 2 seed Sioux County (16-8).

Leyton improved to 30-0 with a 3-0 set victory Tuesday night over South Platte (12-12) in Tuesday’s final. The Warriors will take on Mullen on Thursday for the District D2-6 title and automatic trip to state.

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