Young Minatare team gets elusive first win
     2013-10-17      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Minatare’s Briana Regester dinks the ball over the net during Friday’s contest at home for a 2-set win against Arthur, marking the team’s first victory of the season.  
Mitchell finishes 2nd, Gering 3rd, Scottsbluff 6th in Western Conference tourney

MINATARE -- After starting the volleyball season with 12 straight losses, the Minatare volleyball team finally tasted victory with a two-set win over Banner County in a triangular early last week at Garden County in Oshkosh.

The Indians then had a one-set lead Friday at home over Arthur County and an 11-point lead, three points from taking a two-game advantage before the visiting Wolves took the second set and then the third.

Minatare tied the match by winning the fourth game, but Arthur County (5-7) took command in the fifth set to take the victory 24-26, 27-25, 25-13, 21-25, 15-6.

The common link between the Indians' win and their loss Friday?

Communication, first-year Minatare coach Tressie Sims said after Friday's homecoming match. "We're becoming more of a team, we're communicating, and I think that's really our key is communication."

Sims expanded her thought to note that the Indians communicated well in their 27-25, 25-21 win over Banner County and early against Arthur County – but not so well after they nearly had the Wolves down by two sets with a 22-11, second-game lead.

"We quit communicating," Sims said. "We quit talking. We're a young team. We don't have any seniors. We have some juniors who are really stepping up nicely to the leadership role. But when you're in those situations, you still don't have the experience; you quit doing the things that need to be done."

One of those juniors, Angelica Longoria, had 20 serves with six aces, 14 attacks, three kills and 10 digs. Classmate Jazmin Martinez had 20 serves with four aces and seven digs, and Tristen Wecker, another junior, had eight serves with one ace and 13 attacks with one kill.

Other Minatare statistics included junior Kaitlin Craig with 19 serves and three aces, one kill and three digs. Junior Briana Regester had seven serves with two aces, four digs and one assist. Freshman Franki Doty had 16 serves with four aces and three digs, while sophomore Maria Guereca and freshmen Destiny Craig and Martha Sanchez had one assist apiece.

"We have some remarkable girls with remarkable heart," Sims said of the Indians' comeback. "We're continuing to improve, which is one of our goals coming in. We look at everything and try to fix what we messed up on so we don't make the same mistakes and go from there."

After playing host to the Morrill junior varsity on Tuesday night, Minatare returns to action Saturday in the Minutemen Athletic Conference Tournament at South Platte High School in Big Springs.

Western Conference goes to Chadron

The top-seeded Chadron Cardinals used their home court to their advantage Saturday in winning a hotly contested Western Conference Tournament.

In pool play, Chadron (18-1) turned back Gering 25-23, 14-25, 25-19 and swept Scottsbluff 25-23, 25-19 to advance into the championship match against Mitchell. The title tilt was the third meeting of the season between Chadron and Mitchell, with each team winning on its home court.

The Tigers (14-5) cruised through their pool with straight-set wins over Alliance (25-19, 25-12) and Sidney (25-21, 25-20).

Mitchell grabbed the momentum early in the final by winning the first set 25-17. However, Chadron rallied back to claim the next two sets 25-13, 25-16 to win the title.

For Mitchell, Taylor Peters finished with a double-double of 11 assists and 17 digs. Peters also led the Tigers with eight kills and three aces. Aspen Reifschneider served eight points and made 15 digs, while Mikaela Karpen had seven kills and four solo blocks. McKenna Zulkoski also had 15 digs.

Gering (11-14) finished third with a 25-14, 25-15 win over Sidney. The Bulldogs finished the tournament 2-1 after also sweeping Scottsbluff 25-13, 25-23 in pool play.

Alliance took fifth place by rallying for a 16-25, 25-21, 25-13 win over Scottsbluff.

In its loss to Chadron, Gering got 11 kills, 13 digs and two blocks from Savannah Walker. Kelsea Prieels had 14 assists and two digs, while Kaylee Spreier made nine kills, five blocks and 11 digs.

Also for Gering, Aubrey Gonzales made eight digs, Allie Boggs had three kills and four assists, Jade Riedel scored seven digs, Katie O’Boyle had four kills, three blocks, four digs and two aces, Abby Kiesel recorded two kills and four digs, and Brooklyn Perez tallied assists and two digs.

In the Bulldogs' win over Scottsbluff, Walker made three kills with 11 digs, Prieels had 12 assists and five digs, while Spreier made six kills, seven digs and five aces. Gonzales had four digs, Riedel made seven digs, O'Boyle scored eight kills and three digs, Kiesel had two digs and Perez made seven assists.

In the Bulldogs' third-place win over Sidney, Walker made five kills with 13 digs, Prieels had nine assists and three digs, while Spreier scored six kills, three blocks and 10 digs. Gonzales made five digs, Boggs had two assists, Riedel scored nine digs, O‘Boyle had four kills, two blocks, four digs and two aces, Kiesel had three kills and four digs, and Perez made four assists and three digs.

In Mitchell’s pool win over Alliance, Reifschneider scored seven points, three kills and 12 digs, while Peters scored seven points, nine kills, seven assists and nine digs.

Also for the Tigers, Zulkoski scored two points, three assists and 10 digs, while Kady Lower had four blocks, Felina Blanco had two aces, 10 points, seven assists and nine digs, Karpen made six kills and two digs, Morgan Michael scored points and Arissa Gabel had 15 digs.

In the Tigers’ win over Sidney, Reifschneider scored seven points, two kills, three assists and 10 digs. Zulkoski had three points, two assists and six digs, while Lower recorded six points, two kills, two blocks and three digs.

Also for Mitchell, Blanco had three assists and eight digs, Karpen made eight kills and three digs, Peters scored three points, seven kills, 10 assists and 10 digs, Michael made two aces, six points and two digs, and Gabel had eight digs.

Action this week for Gering includes a visit to Scottsbluff tonight (Thursday) with the varsity match at 6:30 p.m. The Bulldogs then travel to Sidney on Tuesday.

After Scottsbluff’s home match against Gering tonight, the Bearcats (8-13) will travel to Ogallala on Saturday for triangular action against the host Indians (21-6) and McCook (2-22), starting at 11 a.m. The Bearcats then visit Alliance on Tuesday.

Mitchell has a home match against Bridgeport tonight and a triangular at Chappell on Tuesday against Bayard and Creek Valley.

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