Resilient Bulldogs take Bearcats down in home opener
     2011-09-15      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Spectrum Photo: Gering seniors Morgan Broussard (#1) and Amy Christensen (#8) leap to block a shot by Scottsbluff junior Brayden Auer during the rival match Tuesday night at the Gering High School Gymnasium.  
Gering volleyball coach Craig Schadwinkel never called a timeout during the Bulldogs’ home-opening match Tuesday night against arch-rival Scottsbluff, even when the Bearcats had a five-point lead late in the third game.
And although the Bulldogs eventually lost the 60-point third game 31-29, the resiliency they showed in not panicking under Scottsbluff’s rapidly building momentum proved a huge difference in the match’s eventual outcome.
After winning the first two games 25-11 and 25-22, Gering let the third-game marathon slip away but rebounded in the fourth game 25-20 to take the match.
Schadwinkel very easily could have used a timeout after seeing his Bulldogs fall behind Scottsbluff 18-13 in the third game. After all, the Bearcats started breaking open the game after the teams were tight through the first 23 points, with SHS ahead 12-11.
Gering had broken open the first game after building a 15-10 lead, with senior Kenzie Duncan reeling off eight straight service points that included one ace. Duncan’s successes behind the line fueled a 10-1 run that closed the Game 1 win for the Bulldogs.
Scottsbluff jumped to a 5-2 lead in the second game but watched Gering reel off five straight points to take a lead it never relinquished. Still, the Bulldogs only got out in front by as much as five points, at 15-10, in the game but kept the Bearcats at bay for the three-point win and 2-0 lead.
Still, Schadwinkel saw no need for a timeout – and no panic from his players on court.
“We want to try to fight through situations they are in like that,” he said. “I am increasingly proud of how the kids have stepped out and played at a high intensity level.”
When Gering fell behind by five in Game 3, the Bulldogs responded with three straight points and eventually took the lead with a match point at 24-23. Scottsbluff fended that and two other match points and eventually took the upper hand in the seesaw battle of extra time in the game at 27-26 on an amazing midcourt-deep kill from junior Morgan Westphal.
Finally, seven points later, Westphal fired another kill that forced a double hit on the Gering side and the Bearcats forced a fourth game.
“After the second set, it got us thinking that we can compete,” Scottsbluff coach Megan Burda said of the Bearcats’ stronger mentality and results in the third game. “We wanted to win and not to lose. Everyone had to turn it up a notch and they did.”
Gering had committed 13 service errors through the first three games, but in the fourth the Bulldogs were right on target on their serves. Again, the scores remained tight, with no lead larger than four until the Bulldogs reeled off four straight to take a 16-11 lead.
Scottsbluff eventually tied the match twice, the latter at 18-all, before three straight Gering points gave the Bulldogs the upper hand that they needed to end the match. The finale came on senior Morgan Broussard’s rocket shot of an ace that deflected off Westphal.
Both teams put up some huge statistical numbers in the match.
For the victors, Broussard and fellow seniors Morgan Greene and Kaleigh Schadwinkel had 11 kills apiece. Schadwinkel had a team-high 24 assists and Broussard had 23; seniors Darci Kaufman and Amy Christensen had 22 and 21 digs, respectively, and Schadwinkel dug out 15 balls.
Christensen had nine blocks, eight on her own, and Broussard had seven solo blocks. Duncan led the bulldogs’ five-ace attack with three.
Senior Stephanie Coley had five kills and two solo blocks, certainly not big numbers but all seemed to come at major opportunities for Gering.
“We’re trying to improve our offensive efficiency,” Coach Schadwinkel said. “When they are executing, it is exciting to watch these kids.”
For Scottsbluff, Westphal slammed down an amazing 20 kills and also had a team-leading 18 assists and three aces along with two blocks. Senior Taylor Muzzey and junior Brayden Auer had three blocks apiece, while senior Morgan Yost had 14 digs and eight kills as the No. 2 kill leader.
Senior Abby Benson had a team-high 19 assists with two digs, and classmate Megan Gealey had 15 assists and six digs.
“We were all over the place, and (junior Libero) Lauren Miller had a great game,” Burda said. “We wouldn’t let anything drop.”
Scottsbluff (2-8) will be off until next Thursday, when the Bearcats travel to Chadron for a triangular that includes Bridgeport, and then they will play host to the Scottsbluff Invitational on Sept. 24.
The Bulldogs (7-3) continue their home stand — and home-heat advantage — Thursday when they have Gordon-Rushville and Chadron in for a triangular. Gering and Gordon-Rushville open the tri at 4 p.m., then the Mustangs take on Chadron before the Cardinals and Bulldogs complete the action.
“It was fun to see everybody complaining about the heat,” Schadwinkel said of the usually warm gym during volleyball season. “And we’re used to it.”

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

Good Evening friend!
Recently Read Sports
1014Resilient Bulldogs take Bearcats down in home opener
666 Lady Cougars capture 15th straight regional title
820Arellano scores two gold medals, one bronze, in AAU Regional track meet
866Bearcat boys to play Thursday for state
867Scottsbluff cagers off to strong starts, seek big years
886The races continue to heat up at Hi Way 92 Raceway Park
712Mitchell girls repeat as WTC champions
848Gering teams finish tourney with wins: Bulldog boys take 3rd, girls earn 5th in Sidney Shootout
905Bearcat wrestlers earn runner-up GNAC finish
968Bridgeport Alumni Basketball Tournament draws lots of teams, large crowd
1241All Points West: No sour outlook for Broncos, Huskers
827Bearcats bitten by tough draw, finish 7th at state duals
2082Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1121Tennis teams finish at state
882Gering girls prevail 4-1 in rivalry match
986State basketball opening game
793Zephyrs sweep 3 games Sunday after storm postponement
716Bearcats open with shutout of Minutemen
1560Carrizales wins Summit to Summit race
993Gering claims B-7 title
Most Read Sports 2012
3927Mitchell track off to a strong start
3802Morrill baseball back in business
3205Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2998Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2923Gering wrestling builds on experience
2826Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2645Raising the bar high
2601Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2587Gering resident lives his dream
2582Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2564All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2476All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2412Doing the heavy lifting
2361Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2314Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2310Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2262Beam to golf at Midland
2235Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2136Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2082Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Most Read Sports 2011
3927Mitchell track off to a strong start
3802Morrill baseball back in business
3205Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2998Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2923Gering wrestling builds on experience
2826Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2645Raising the bar high
2601Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2587Gering resident lives his dream
2582Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2564All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2476All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2412Doing the heavy lifting
2361Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2314Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2310Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2262Beam to golf at Midland
2235Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2136Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2082Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on