Volleyball teams finish regular seasons, await playoff berths
     2013-10-31      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Bayard’s Hannah Lenhart spikes the ball as Minatare’s Briana Regeser (No. 24) tries to block it and Bayard’s Brookly Kniss (No. 3) eyes the play. Bayard defeated the Indians 25-10, 25-12, 25-15 at home on Thursday. 
While high school volleyball teams prepare for the announcement today (Thursday) of the sub-district and district brackets for next week, some teams like Bayard spent the past week trying to improve on their projected seeding for their postseason tournaments.

The Tigers swept Minatare 25-10, 25-12, 25-15 at home Thursday night and then split two matches in the Western Trails Conference Tournament on Saturday in Kimball, defeating Hemingford but falling to Kimball.

“We’re playing pretty well together, which is what we want this time of season,” Bayard coach Cindy Korell said. “We were a little flat tonight (against Minatare), and we want to play with more aggression.”

The Tigers started the third set playing with four freshmen and two juniors, and Korell began rotating the starters back in once Bayard reached an 18-11 lead.

“We haven’t been able to do that very often, so that was good and they did well for us,” Korell said of getting to utilize the junior varsity players.

Bayard honored its three senior players — Cassandra Huck, Hannah Lenhart and Megan Stuart — before the match. Stuart had six kills, while Lenhart made four kills and had 10 service points.

Junior Chellani Parriott served 13 points with one ace and made 11 set assists, while junior Mandi Cottrell added seven assists.

The run gives Bayard a 10-15 record that will be considered for seeding of the Class C2, Sub-District 12 bracket that has five teams that will play at Ogallala on Monday and Tuesday.

Probable seeds, based on the Nebraska School Activities Association’s power-point ratings posted before Tuesday’s action, have Perkins County (2-20) in fifth and Bayard in fourth. The winner faces the No. 1 seed, which will likely be Bridgeport (11-15*) or Kimball (12-11*), with Dundy County-Stratton (12-14*) the likely No. 3 seed.

All records listed are prior to Tuesday night’s scheduled action. Teams with scheduled matches Tuesday have their records complemented with an asterisk.

The Tigers’ seeding will be locked in before they host a season-ending triangular Friday against Perkins County and Garden County.

The Class B, District 8 tournament begins Tuesday at a site that was not yet determined by the NSAA as of Tuesday night. The four teams in order of power points are Sidney (19-10*), Gering (15-16), Scottsbluff (10-19) and Alliance (10-18*).

Scottsbluff finishes its regular season with the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday in Hastings, but the Bearcats’ district seeding will be locked in regardless of their GNAC tourney results

For the first time in Class B, the district winners will not automatically advance to the state tournament. The top 16 teams will be placed in eight sub-state matches, to be played on Nov. 9, to determine the eight-team state tourney field.

On Monday, Mitchell travels to Chadron State College‘s Armstrong Gymnasium to play in the C1-12 sub-district headed by Chadron (24-2*). The Tigers (19-5 before a Tuesday triangular at Bridgeport) are the likely No. 2 seed. Valentine (13-17) and Gordon-Rushville (8-16) complete the sub-district’s bracket.

Mitchell is responsible for the first of Chadron’s losses, while the Cardinals have won the teams’ other two meetings. Because of the teams’ power-point strengths — Mitchell is No. 10 overall entering this week — both teams will likely advance to district action on Nov. 8.

District D2-12 play will be Monday and Tuesday at the Cabela’s Athletic Facility in Sidney and will have Banner County (1-18*) and Minatare (1-16*) and as the likely Nos. 4 and 5 seeds. Leyton (24-2*), South Platte (11-10*) and Garden County (7-17*) are the likely top three seeds.

Banner County and Minatare joined Leyton and South Platte in Leyton’s season-ending quadrangular Tuesday night.

Morrill will be in the Sub-District D1-11 tournament at Bayard, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The Lions (5-20) are the tentative No. 4 seed, behind Creek Valley (14-8*), Hemingford (17-12) and Potter-Dix (8-13*).

Class D1 and D2 district finals will be played on Nov. 7.

For official brackets, log on to nsaahome.org and click on Volleyball, and each district and sub-district’s bracket will be individually linked.


Gering second in Alliance tourney

The Gering Bulldogs got their final warm-up for postseason play Saturday in the annual Pilfold Alliance Invitational by working their way into the championship match against the very tough Chadron Cardinals.

Chadron won the tourney title by sweeping Gering 25-21, 25-21.

Gering was led in hitting by Kaylee Spreier who sparked the Bulldogs’ hitting attack with six kills and Savannah Walker added four kills. Allie Boggs made eight assists, while Kelsea Prieels added five assists.
Defensively for Gering, Walker made a team-high nine digs. Katie O’Boyle added two kills, digs and blocks apiece, while Jade had four digs.

Gering reached the title match after scoring a 25-22, 25-22 win over Sidney in pool play.

In defeating Sidney, Gering had leaders in Prieels with nine set assists and three digs, while Walker had seven kills, 12 digs and two blocks. O’Boyle made five kills, two blocks and two aces, while Boggs scored set assists and made two digs.

Riedel had eight digs, while Spreier made seven kills and 11 digs, Brooklyn Perez had two digs and two aces, Aubrey Gonzales made four digs and Abby Kiesel scored five kills with four digs.

Chadron made the final match with pool-play wins over Alliance and Scottsbluff. The Cardinals rallied for a 19-25, 25-10, 25-22 victory over Alliance before sweeping the Bearcats by scores of 25-18, 25-20.

Sidney gained third place by defeating Scottsbluff 25-18, 25-14.

The Bearcats played three straight matches to finish 1-2 on the day. Scottsbluff opened with a 25-22, 25-18 win over Alliance before falling to Chadron to conclude pool play.

In the Bearcats’ win over Alliance, Shalee Roseberry made two aces, two blocks and two digs. Kyra Willats had 20 set assists and six digs, while Amy Colburn made three kills and five digs. Makayla Castro scored 12 kills and four digs, while Chesney Walker made six kills and three digs, and Savannah Menghini had 10 digs.

Against Chadron, Castro made three kills with four digs, while Walker had seven kills and 11 digs. Roseberry scored two kills and two digs, Kelly Wentz had digs, Menghini made eight digs, Colburn had two kills, three set assists and six digs, while Willats made 12 set assists and four digs and SteaVen Becker scored three kills with two digs.

In their third-place loss to Sidney, the Bearcats had Walker score two kills and five digs, while Castro made two kills and two digs; Colburn scored two set assists and four digs; Menghini made seven digs; Willats had eight digs and seven set assists; Roseberry scored two digs and two kills; Becker had three kills and Wentz made five digs.


Gering sweeps Bridgeport

In a Battle of the Bulldogs on Thursday night in Bridgeport, visiting Gering scored a three-set sweep of Bridgeport 25-12, 25-22, 25-9.

Walker led Gering at the net with a match-high 10 kills and also had 12 digs for a double-double. Spreier added seven kills, O’Boyle scored five and Boggs made two. Prieels made eight assists, while Perez scored five assists and Boggs added four. O’Boyle served a team-high two aces.

Riedel and Gonzales followed Walker‘s dozen digs with seven apiece, while Spreier added five. O’Boyle led Gering in blocks with a match-high five, while Boggs, Spreier and Kaila Borgman all finished with three blocks each and Walker added two.


Bearcats downed at North Platte

Scottsbluff ran into a tough North Platte team in the Bulldogs’ gym Thursday and the Bearcats were swept 25-11, 25-14, 25-15.

Walker led Scottsbluff in hitting with seven kills. Castro followed with three kills, while Roseberry and Becker added two apiece. Kyra Willats made nine assists, while Colburn added two.

Defensively, Menghini led the Bearcats with 15 digs, while Colburn added eight digs and Walker followed with seven. Castro and Wentz each had two digs.


WTC Tourney goes to Mitchell

For the third straight year, the Mitchell Tigers are the champions of the Western Trails Conference Volleyball Tournament, conducted Saturday in Kimball.

Mitchell fended off a stiff challenge from Kimball in the semifinal round by besting the Longhorns 25-19, 27-25. In the title match, the Tigers had a much easier time by stopping Bridgeport 25-11, 25-22.

In the championship match against Bridgeport, Taylor Peters led the Tigers with a triple-double of 10 kills, 12 set assists and 15 digs. McKenna Zulkoski followed with a double-double of 10 points and 18 digs. Zulkoski also served a team-high three aces.

Mitchell was led in blocking by Morgan Michael with three ace blocks, while Arrisa Gabel finished with 11 digs.

Peters finished the Tigers’ win over Kimball with nine assists, seven kills, nine digs, four service points, two aces and two blocks. Mikaela Karpen also put down seven kills. Michael served a team-high eight points with three aces, while Kady Lower powered the Tigers in the blocking department with six ace blocks. Gabel finished with nine digs.

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