Upstart Bayard works its way into sub-district final match
     2013-11-07      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Bayard’s Mandi Cottrell stretches out for the ball as teammate Megan Stuart eyes the play during an Oct. 24 match at Minatare.  
No. 4 seed Tigers defeat top-seeded Bridgeport, swept by No. 3 Dundy County-Stratton in title tilt

The Bayard volleyball team got hot at the right time. In the end, however, the Tigers just couldn't build a strong enough competitive fire to clear the final hurdle in Sub-District C2-12 play at Ogallala.

Bayard ended its regular season on a roll, sweeping two matches in a home triangular Friday over Perkins County and Garden County before entering C2-12 sub-district play as the No. 4 seed in the five-team bracket.

The Tigers scored their second win in four days over Perkins County, in four sets, on Monday in earning a semifinal berth against top-seeded Bridgeport.

And Bayard came through again, downing the Bulldogs in three straight games Monday night to make Tuesday's final against Dundy County-Stratton, the third seed that downed Kimball, in the sub-district final back at the Ogallala Auditorium.

Both Tiger teams entered the sub-district final with 14-15 records, but Dundy County-Stratton (15-15) proved too strong for Bayard on Tuesday night, winning 25-18, 25-18, 25-16.

Dundy County-Stratton thus takes a .500 record into the C2-6 district final on Thursday against Ord, Tuesday night's C2-11 sub-district final winner in Broken Bow. Ord (20-11) swept Ravenna (10-20) in three straight sets.

Bayard's first-round win over Perkins County was 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 25-22, and Tigers coach Cindy Korell said the team got rejuvenated after losing that third set to the Plainsmen (3-23).

"The first games really got us going," Korell said. "After we lost the third one, I think the girls found that confidence again and finished strong."

Bayard then rode that momentum into the semifinal against Bridgeport, scoring its first win over the Bulldogs (12-17) after three losses this season, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.

Senior outside hitter Megan Stuart had a triple-double for the Tigers, making 10 kills, 13 digs and serving 11 points and three aces in nailing all 16 of her serve attempts. Stuart also had three solo blocks and had 12 good passes.

"Megan played a complete game," Korell said. "We came out early against Bridgeport and got the momentum, and we feel pretty good that we put ourselves in that position."

Against Dundy County-Stratton, however, Bayard either had nothing left in the tank, was just outplayed, or a combination of both.

"They were a good team and we knew that going in," Korell said. "We couldn't slow them down. We served pretty aggressively, but they are just a good passing team. We couldn't get them out of their rhythm, and we struggled defensively trying to stop them.

"The first couple sets, we rallied a few times and were doing some good things," Korell said of the match itself. "We got beat 25-18 (in each of the first two sets), and then the last set, we just couldn't get anything going.

"They're very good, they're very tall, they hit the ball well and they block well. It will be interesting how much farther they go because they good team, probably one of the better ones we've seen this year."

Stuart had nine kills, 13 good passes, six digs, and two block assists. Junior Chellani Parriott had 16 set assists and six digs, junior Mandi Cottrell made 10 pass assists, while freshman Catie Baird had two solo blocks and sophomore Miah Vera had four block assists.

"They battled hard," Korell said. "We told them afterward that we were very proud of them. That was one thing this team learned to do was to battle no matter

Sub-district C1-12

In C1-12 play at Chadron State College's Armstrong Gymnasium, the hometown Cardinals ended Mitchell's season with a tough, three-set victory in the finals, 25-10, 33-31, 25-17.

Mitchell (22-6), which had three of its losses to Chadron (26-2), had earned a final in the sub-district with a three-set win over Valentine 25-17, 25-16, 25-19. Chadron advanced to the final with a 35-5, 25-9, 25-10 romp over Gordon-Rushville.

Sub-district D1-11

In D1-11 action at Bayard, Morrill had no Cinderella story to complete against No. 1 seed Creek Valley, although the Lions squeaked out one set before falling to the Storm in the match, 25-19, 13-25, 25-18, 25-17.

Instead, the glass slipper of the sub-district belonged to No. 3 seed Potter-Dix (11-13), which knocked off No. 2 seed Hemingford in five sets and then bounced Creek Valley in four games to win the bracket.

The Coyotes upended Hemingford 18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12 in the semifinals to make the final and then ousted Creek Valley 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22 to earn the district playoff berth Friday. Potter-Dix will take on Brady in Thursday's District D-6 final.
Sub-district D2-11

The D2-11 sub-district in Sidney was going to guarantee at least one win for an area team, since Banner County and Minatare locked horns for the fourth meeting this season -- this time in the Seeds 4 vs. 5 match-up.

Banner County (3-22) added its third win in four matches over Minatare (1-20), sweeping the Indians in three sets 25-15, 27-25, 25-21 in setting up a David vs. Goliath semifinal against No. 1 seed Leyton.

The Warriors, however, turned in another Goliath-like effort and swept the Wildcats 25-8, 25-13, 25-8 from the sub-district to end their season.

On Tuesday, Leyton (29-2) swept South Platte (14-12) in straight sets and earned the bi-district title and district playoff berth Friday against Hay Springs.

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