Cardinals rally to down Bearcats for conference title
     2014-10-16      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Anthony Brathwaite/Gering Citizen - Gering senior Leah Newman (No. 1) nets a kill while teammate junior Lauren Shaul (No. 2) eyes the action as the Lady Bulldogs secure third place in the Western Conference Tourney held at Gering last Saturday. 
GERING – Seedings for the Western Conference volleyball tournament Saturday took a hit right away when No. 5 Scottsbluff took a three-set victory over No. 2 seed Mitchell in pool play at the Gering Junior High School gymnasium.
The Bearcats then swept No. 4 seed Alliance and earned a berth in the championship match Saturday afternoon at the Gering High School gym.

The pool at GHS held seeds, with defending conference tourney champ Chadron sweeping No. 3 Gering and No. 6 Sidney and the host Bulldogs defeating the Red Raiders.
Chadron (20-3) had swept Scottsbluff in three sets Thursday night in the Bearcats’ gym, but Scottsbluff rode its pool-play momentum to take the first game of the championship tilt 29-27.

The Bearcats made nothing easy for Chadron, and the teams were deadlocked in the third and final set at 22-all before the Cardinals scored three of the final four points to win the match 27-29, 25-15, 25-23 for their second straight conference tourney title.

Gering, the No. 3 seed, had been swept at home by Alliance last Tuesday. But the host Bulldogs rose to the occasion in the conference tourney’s third-place match and won a tight match 26-24, 25-21.
Fifth place went to Sidney, which needed three sets to oust Mitchell 16-25, 31-29, 25-8.

“We had a great day,” said second-year Scottsbluff coach Kenna Urwiller, whose team entered the tournament at 6-14 on the season and emerged 8-15 heading into tonight’s Twin Cities Rivalry match at Gering High School.

“It didn’t fall our way here at the end, but the girls played hard. It was a great volleyball match.”

The Bearcats, who lost a 25-11, 25-22, 25-23 decision to Chadron on Thursday, continued their winning momentum from pool play and took the first set of the championship from the Cardinals after they saw Chadron erase a game point to take a 25-24 lead.

After the Cardinals worked into two set points of their own, Scottsbluff won the last three points to take the first game.
Chadron, however, jumped out to leads of 9-5 and 13-8 and led by as many as 11 before it closed out the set to tie the match.
“It’s a complete momentum game and you see that happen to good teams at times,” said Urwiller, whose team could have wilted in the third set but instead took a quick 5-2 lead.

Although Chadron took its first lead at 12-11 and led 19-15, the Bearcats still clawed their way back to the 22-all deadlock before the Cardinals finished off the match.

“Our girls came back with the attitude that we wanted this game, and I thought they fought to the end,” Urwiller said. “Chadron’s a great team and we didn’t give up. We fought point for point with them.”
In pool play, Scottsbluff defeated Mitchell 25-16, 17-25, 25-21 and Alliance 25-16, 25-23.

“Alliance is a great team and we’ve seen them twice already, and the girls put some things together and it was a great day for us, ”Urwiller said. “We’ve had our ups and down and today was an up for us and hopefully that leads us into the second half of this season.”

Against Chadron, Scottsbluff had statistical leaders in sophomore Alli Leever with 23 digs; junior Stacea Pauli with five digs and two assists; junior Kelli Wentz with 17 digs and 11 kills; junior Chesney Walker with 13 kills and 13 digs; Avery Krentz with six kills and two digs; senior Kyra Willats with 31 assists, three kills and three blocks; sophomore Sally Welsh with four assists and two blocks; and junior Aly Camacho with seven kills, five blocks and two digs.

In the Bearcats’ win over Alliance, Leever had 14 digs; Wentz had eight digs, four kills and three blocks; Walker made 10 kills and four digs; Krentz had six digs, four blocks and three kills; Willats made 17 assists, nine digs and three blocks; Welsh had six assists, two kills and two digs; and Camacho had six kills with five blocks.

Against Mitchell, Leever made 13 digs; Pauli had five digs; Wentz scored eight digs, seven kills, four aces and three blocks; Walker had 22 kills and four digs; Krentz scored five blocks and five digs; Willats had 32 assists, nine digs and two kills; Welsh made four assists and three kills; and Camacho had seven kills with six blocks.

Gering and Alliance each had leads of three points in the first set of their third-place match, and both had four-point leads in the second game before the host Bulldogs won the match in straight sets.

“We haven’t played our best lately and we didn’t play our best today, but we managed to grab two wins and hold off two teams that have done pretty well,” Gering coach Dave Lashley, whose team was swept out of its own gym by Alliance last Tuesday.

“We beat a team (in Alliance) that beat us earlier in the week, although they did not play nearly as well as they played on Tuesday.”

In Saturday’s rematch, Gering had leaders in junior Abby Kiesel with two kills and two digs; junior Allie Boggs with eight assists, seven kills, six digs and two aces; senior Brooklyn Perez with nine assists and six digs; junior Jade Riedel with two kills; senior Kaylee Spreier with 12 digs and five kills; junior Lauren Shaul with five digs and three kills; senior Leah Newman with 15 digs and four kills; and junior Sara Schwartzkopf with three digs.

In pool play, Gering downed Sidney 24-26, 25-21, 25-16 and lost to Chadron 25-15, 25-21.
Against Sidney, Boggs had 15 assists, five digs, four kills and two aces; Perez had seven assists and five digs; Riedel had three kills; Spreier made 14 kills, 12 digs and two aces; Shaul had 13 digs and two aces; Newman had 14 digs and four kills; and Schwartzkopf had four digs.

Against Chadron, Kiesel made four kills with two blocks; Boggs had seven assists, seven digs and five kills; Perez scored 10 assists and four digs; Riedel made four kills, two assists and two digs; Spreier had seven digs, four kills and three aces; Shaul had 14 digs; Newman made eight digs and four kills; and Schwartzkopf had two digs.

“We need to get back where we were almost two weeks ago,” Lashley said. “Our (Twin City) tournament here seemed to have an impact on us. I thought it would help us actually, because we played such good teams, but maybe it worked on the kids’ psyche more than I thought. Maybe we came out of that funk a little bit today, and that part is good and we will have to see going forward.

“On a positive note our attacking was much more balance today with less dependence on Kaylee Spreier. We had some other players step up hitting like Jade Riedel and Allie Boggs. Kaylee, Leah Newman and Lauren Shaul had a good day digging the ball. Abbie Kiesel passed the ball well.”

When the Bearcats return to Gering for action tonight (Thursday) in their 6:30 contest, they will look to avenge a four-set loss to the Bulldogs in Scottsbluff from Sept. 16.
With Scottsbluff at 8-15 and Gering at 13-14, tonight’s match is definitely one of those where excitement will prevail and truly define the meaning of tossing the records out.

“These two teams usually seem pretty fired up to play each other,” Urwiller said.
“They played a lot better and with fewer mistakes, and that’s really helpful to them,” Lashley said after watching the Bearcats against Chadron. “So I expect our match on Thursday to be a pretty good one. We just need to play with a little more consistency and take advantage of the opportunities that are given to us with free balls from the other team.”

Mitchell had won six straight matches before the Tigers were swept in the tough Western Conference Tournament in a trio of three-set matches.
After falling to Scottsbluff, the Tigers (14-8) lost to Alliance in pool play 25-13, 19-25, 25-19.

Mitchell had scored a 25-19, 25-17, 25-15 sweep of Morrill on Tuesday night at home in the Tigers’ last action before the conference tourney.
Senior McKenna Zulkoski powered the Tigers’ hitting attack with 12 kills. Senior Aspen Reifschneider added 10 kills and senior Kady Lower finished with nine kills. Junior Hannah Haberman added seven kills.

Zulkoski served a team-high 10 points. Lower served nine points and freshman Jori Peters finished with eight. Felina Blanco fired in three aces.
Peters dished out 31 set assists from her setter’s position. She also led the Tigers defensively with 25 digs. Lower added 11 digs, while Reifschneider and Zulkoski finished with 10 digs each.

Lower and Reifschneider had three blocks apiece for Mitchell, which returns to action today (Thursday) at Bridgeport. The Tigers will entertain Bayard and Creek Valley in a triangular on Tuesday, and they will play host to the Western Trails Conference Tournament on Oct. 25.

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
618Cardinals rally to down Bearcats for conference title
856Bearcats pick Holdrege apart for 44-6 win Worden's pair of interceptions for TDs fuel Scottsbluff
640Kimball golfers win WTC Tourney
747Morrill netters use veteran strength in training younger players
570Gering falls to Hastings in tough season opener
593Bearcats edge Raiders to capture conference, Chadron golf titles
1032Banner County teams prepare winning season
664Gering’s Spreier signs with WNCC for volleyball
733Bearcat girls hold on to end Lions' unbeaten run
539WNCC softball wins two against Colby
964Mitchell clobbers competition at George Calvert Meet
827Bearcat harriers have high hopes again
966Sports Briefs
593Bulldogs sweep Bearcats in season-opening doubleheader
1127Gering softball edged in Aurora final
930 Zephyrs post strong first week in July
586Minatare Cheerleaders win State
1135Gering youth places 3rd in national shooting tourney; Nebraska team 3rd
517
1118Fields tosses another one-hitter in doubleheader with Trinidad
Most Read Sports 2012
3760Mitchell track off to a strong start
3619Morrill baseball back in business
2919Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2829Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2483Raising the bar high
2447Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2427Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2312Gering wrestling builds on experience
2264Doing the heavy lifting
2206Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2147Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2036Gering resident lives his dream
1996Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1960All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1912Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1911Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1911All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1901New Bayard coach looks for productive season
1888Bearcat coach nears finish line
1873All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
Most Read Sports 2011
3760Mitchell track off to a strong start
3619Morrill baseball back in business
2919Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2829Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2483Raising the bar high
2447Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2427Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2312Gering wrestling builds on experience
2264Doing the heavy lifting
2206Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2147Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2036Gering resident lives his dream
1996Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1960All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1912Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1911Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1911All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1901New Bayard coach looks for productive season
1888Bearcat coach nears finish line
1873All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
American Legacy
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on