Bulldogs finish fourth in Twin City Invitational
     2014-10-09      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Mitchell’s Kady Lower sets up a play as Tiger teammates McKenna Zulkoski (No. 7) preps for a kill and Madison Kuxhausen and Jori Peters (No. 2) get ready for defense against Guernsey during the Morrill Volleyball Tournament held last weekend. The Lady Tigers took first place in the tourney.  


After working their way into the championship bracket of the annual Twin City Invitational volleyball tournament in pool play Friday, the Gering Bulldogs wound up finishing in fourth place Saturday in the championship bracket of the 10-team tournament in Gering and Scottsbluff.

The Bulldogs played their way into the gold championship bracket after going 2-2 in pool play Friday. They started with a 25-23, 25-15 win over Sidney before Grand Island Northwest downed Gering 25-9, 25-21. The Bulldogs rebounded by defeating McCook 25-23, 25-18 but then fell to Chadron 25-13, 23-25, 25-14.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Gering fell to eventual tournament champion Ogallala 25-22, 25-10. Northwest then swept the Bulldogs 25-22, 25-11 to claim third place.

Despite the two losses Saturday, Gering coach Dave Lashley said his team played solid volleyball throughout the tournament.
“It was a tough day as far as wins and losses, but playing the level of competition that we played today can help make you better,” said Lashley, whose team stood at 11-12 on the season heading into Tuesday’s home match against Alliance.

“In each match we played well in the first set and pushed the opponents to the very end. But we seemed to run out of steam in the second set of each while we had some very good plays in those second sets we just could not finish.”

Senior Kaylee Spreier led Gering in hitting with eight kills against Ogallala. Junior Allie Boggs, senior Jade Riedel, junior Lauren Shaul and senior Leah Newman all added three kills each. Boggs handed out 12 set assists and senior Brooklyn Perez finished with seven. Defensively for Gering, Shaul and Newman both scored six digs each.

Spreier also led the Bulldogs with seven kills against Northwest. Boggs added four and Shaul had three. Shaul served a team-high two aces. Boggs dished out eight assists, while Perez added four. Defensively against the Vikings, Shaul made 15 digs. Spreier and Newman both added 10 digs each.

As the Bulldogs’ record from Friday might indicate, Lashley said his team’s play was inconsistent.

“We would look like a very good high school team one minute and then like a junior high team the next,” he said. “We have to gain more consistency.

“Northwest is very good team and we competed very well with them in the second set. Against Sidney we were really quite out of sync in the first game and then got things going in the second. Sidney deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the close score in the first set with some very solid defensive play.”

Against Sidney, Spreier had 13 digs, nine kills, three blocks, (two solo); Boggs had eight assists, six kills and two assisted blocks; Newman had nine digs and four kills; Perez made eight assists; and Shaul had three ace serves.

Against Northwest, Spreier had seven kills, 11 digs and one ace serve, while Newman made 11 digs and had five ace serves, Boggs had six assists, Perez made four assists.

Against McCook, Spreier had 10 kills, five digs, two service aces and an assisted block; Boggs had five kills and 11 assists, Riedel made four kills with one assisted block, Shaul made four service aces, sophomore Joslyn Olsson had one block, and Perez had five digs and five assists.

In the loss to Chadron, Spreier had 13 kills, 12 digs and two blocks; Boggs had 11 assists and two service aces; Perez had 10 assists; Olsson had two blocks; and Newman had 19 digs.

“We had a lot players play some very good volleyball this weekend,” Lashley said. “I know that the players may not see it just yet but this weekend was good for us. As a team we moved forward with our level of play. It will be important for us to continue that improvement going toward the end of the season.”

After Tuesday’s match against Alliance, the Bulldogs will play host to the Western Conference Tournament on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Gering then will be off until next Thursday, Oct. 16, when the Bulldogs play host to Twin Cities arch-rival Scottsbluff. The varsity match is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

Scottsbluff’s effort in the Twin City Invitational resulted in an eighth-place finish for the Bearcats. Scottsbluff went 1-3 in pool play Friday, opening with a 25-18, 25-22 loss to Alliance and a 25-13, 27-25 defeat to Rapid City Stevens.

The Bearcats broke through with a 25-15, 25-15 win over Lexington before they suffered a 25-16, 15-16 loss to Ogallala.
In the consolation semifinals, Scottsbluff lost to Chadron 25-15, 25-16 and to Sidney 25-23, 26-24.

Ogallala beat Rapid City Stevens 25-18, 25-18 in the championship match. In the silver bracket, Chadron defeated Alliance 25-22, 25-18 to earn fifth place.

Scottsbluff (6-13) returns to action today (Thursday) with a home match against Chadron, with the varsity action scheduled for 6 p.m. The Bearcats also will be in the Western Conference Tournament in Gering on Saturday and will then await their return trip to Gering next Thursday.

Mitchell takes Morrill tourney

MORRILL — The Mitchell Tigers won the Morrill Invitational on Saturday by sweeping all three of its matches in two sets apiece.
Mitchell defeated Crawford 25-18, 25-21 before the Tigers downed Morrill 25-23, 25-17 and Guernsey-Sunrise 25-14, 25-17. Guernsey-Sunrise advanced to the final by beating Banner County 25-11, 25-20 and downing Sioux County in three sets, 20-25, 25-20, 25-9.

Sioux County opened with a 25-21, 25-20 win over Minatare before falling to Morrill 25-19, 15-14.

Crawford rebounded from its opening loss to Mitchell to down Banner County 25-5, 25-20 and Minatare 25-3, 25-6.

Mitchell improved to 13-5 with the victory and returned to Morrill for a match against the Lions.

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