Volleyball season ends for Gering at Grand Island: Gering runs into undefeated Northwest, swept in sub-state
     2013-11-14      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Gering juniors Kaila Borgman (No. 11) and Kaylee Spreier (No. 16) make an effective block while teammate sophomore Jade Riedel (No. 33) waits for defense at a home match against Cheyenne East. 
Gering volleyball coach Stevie Gable said the Bulldogs gave their best in their Class B sub-state match Saturday against Grand Island Northwest.

The trouble for Gering was that the Vikings are a well-oiled machine and remained undefeated on the season by downing the visiting Bulldogs 25-9, 25-14, 25-18.

The win, under Class B’s expanded 16-team sub-state format, put Northwest (36-0) into this week’s state tournament, with the Vikings having a home-bed advantage since the tournament is in Grand Island. Northwest is the defending Class B champion after going 33-2 last fall.

The loss ended Gering’s season at 16-19 after the Bulldogs earned the No. 15 seed for the sub-state bracket following their district runner-up finish to Sidney. The Red Raiders’ season also ended in sub-state, with a three-set loss at Beatrice.

Gable, a five-year Gering assistant who became the Bulldogs’ interim varsity coach on Sept. 14, said her team was simply outmanned against Northwest.

“They’re just loaded in all six positions,” she said. “They’ve only lost four total sets all season, so they’re pretty phenomenal.

“Our girls started pretty slow, but as they made progressed they responded well after they got going.”

For the match, Gering had offensive leaders in Savannah Walker making 29 attacks with six kills and nine serve attempts, Kelsea Prieels with 12 serve attempts and two aces, and six set assists. Katie O'Boyle had one ace on seven serves, 12 attacks with four kills, and Allie Boggs had four kills while Brooklyn Perez had three set assists.

Defensively, Walker had 19 digs, Jade Riedel made 17 digs, Spreier had two blocks and Boggs and Kaila Borgman had a block each.

The loss stopped Gering short of its 19th state appearance and ended a season that began with 30th-year head coach Craig Schadwinkel being suspended after seven matches. A decision on his and Gable’s fates in regard to the head coaching position has yet to be determined.

But Gable, a 1996 Gering graduate, said she was proud of her Bulldogs this year and saw them grow after the coaching transition was made.

“After the initial changeover, it took a couple weeks to get used to things,” Gable said. “The Twin City Tournament was a turning point. They started coming together and things really clicked.”

For the season, offensive statistical leaders were Walker with 178 kills and Spreier with 176; Prieels with 250 set assists and Boggs next with 160; Prieels with 308 service attempts; and O'Boyle had 41 service aces and Spreier was next with 24.

Defensively, Riedel had 230 digs and Walker had 228; Spreier had 33 solo blocks and 87 total blocks, while O'Boyle followed in total blocks with 73 and Boggs made 51. Riedel had a team-high 315 serve receptions, while Walker was next with 249 and Aubrey Gonzales added 224.

Northwest and Beatrice will be first-round foes in the Class B State Tournament today (Thursday) at Grand Island High School at 9 a.m. Central Time. Northwest (36-0) is the No. 2 seed and Beatrice (22-11) the No. 7 seed.

Lincoln Pius X (34-6), by virtue of its tough, primarily Class A competition, is the No. 1 seed in Class B and opens against Elkhorn South (20-13) tonight at the Heartland Events Center at 6:30.

Other first-round matches have No. 3 Waverly (31-4) against No. 6 Norris (27-8) at GIHS at 11 a.m., and No. 4 Omaha Skutt Catholic against No. 5 Aurora (27-8) at Heartland at 8:30 p.m.

Class B semifinals will be Friday at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Heartland Events Center, and the championship match Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Heartland.

In other state tournament action with teams of area interest, Ogallala is the No. 2 seed and Chadron the No. 3 seed in the Class C1 State Tournament. Ogallala defeated Chadron in the District C1-6 finals in three sets at Bayard.

Chadron (27-3) plays No. 6 Kearney Catholic (24-8) at Grand Island High School at 4 p.m. today, while Ogallala takes on No. 7 Wayne (25-6) at 2 p.m. at GIHS.

Leyton is the No. 7 seed in Class D2. The Warriors (30-2) will take on No. 2 Giltner today at 9 a.m. at Grand Island Community College.

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