Twin City Invite field ready for weekend competition
     2011-09-29      By Terry Gaston   
Eight other Nebraska volleyball teams and two from Wyoming will join tournament co-hosts Gering and Scottsbluff for the annual Twin City Invitational that begins Friday and continues through Saturday, with the dozen teams starting pool play Friday at 4 p.m.

“The Twin City Invite has become one of the premier tournaments in the state,” Gering coach Craig Schadwinkel said. “This year is no exception Grand Island Northwest, Waverly, Ogallala are great teams. Then you throw us, Scottsbluff, Torrington and the rest of the field in there and you have the makings for a great weekend. Five of the teams are state ranked as well.”

All matches are best-of-3-games. The schedules for pool play and their sites:

White Pool at Scottsbluff High School – Scottsbluff vs. Gordon-Rushville; Ogallala vs. Lexington; Scottsbluff vs. Ogallala; Lexington vs. Gordon-Rushville; Scottsbluff vs. Lexington; Ogallala vs. Gordon-Rushville

Black Pool at Bluffs Middle School – Grand Island Northwest vs. Sidney; Alliance vs. Waverly; Sidney vs. Waverly; Alliance vs. GI Northwest; Sidney vs. Alliance; GI Northwest vs. Waverly.

Green Pool at Gering High School – Gering vs. Cheyenne South; Torrington vs. McCook; Gering vs. McCook; Torrington vs. Cheyenne South; Gering vs. Torrington; Cheyenne South vs. McCook.

On Saturday, the top eight teams will play three matches each in a bracketed tournament, and the bottom four teams will play three matches each in a round-robin competition. The bracket matches will be played at Scottsbluff High School and Gering High School, with sites announced after Friday’s pool-play action.

The first matches of the bracketed tournament will be at 9 a.m., with semifinals at 11 a.m., third- and seventh-place matches at 1 p.m. and fifth-place and championship matches at 2 p.m.

“We have not won this tournament for several years, but I feel if the girls play up to their potential they have a definite shot to win it,” Schadwinkel said. “This tournament is a great stepping stone toward our conference tournament in another week, so in many ways it prepares us for that setting. If our fans like volleyball, there will be some great matches this weekend and I encourage them to come out.”

The seeding criteria for the eight-team tournament will be based upon all matches played on Friday are by: 1. Match record; 2. Head-to-head; 3. Game record; 4. Lowest average of points allowed per game; 5. Coin toss.

The round-robin tournament matches will be played at Bluffs Middle School. The first match will be at 9 a.m. with the No. 9 seed vs. the No. 12 seed. Matches following in order are No. 10 vs. No. 11, No. 9 vs. No. 10, No. 11 vs. No. 12, No. 12 vs. No. 10 and No. 11 vs. No. 9.

Gering
If the Bulldogs knew they were going to come out of the Sidney Triangular on Thursday with a split, they picked the right match to lose — the first one.

The host Red Raiders upended Gering 25-23 in the triangular’s opener and thus snapped the Bulldogs’ six-match winning streak. However, Gering (12-4) rebounded against Kimball and took a 25-13, 15-16 victory over the Longhorns. Sidney defeated Kimball 25-23, 25-19 in the evening’s finale.

We just had a hard time getting into our offensive system against Sidney,” Schadwinkel said .” Our ball control was not there and Sidney had all of the momentum that night.”

Seniors Morgan Broussard, Stephanie Coley and Morgan Greene had three kills apiece to lead the Bulldogs’ attackers. Greene also had a team-high 11 digs and senior Darci Kaufman dug out eight balls. Broussard had a team-leading three blocks along with three assists and two digs

Senior Kayleigh Schadwinkel had a team-high nine assists along with two kills and six digs, and senior Amy Christensen had two service aces and three digs.

Gering got right back to the business of winning against Kimball, with Shadwinkel’s 12 digs, 11 assists, two blocks and two kills setting the all-around pace.

“ I wasn’t worried about the kids coming back after the loss,” Coach Schadwinkel said. “They rebounded very well as we had to play Kimball right after the Sidney match. These girls are competitors. The Sidney match doesn’t affect any of their season goals, so hopefully they will learn from it and move on.”

Other stat leaders from the Kimball match for the Bulldogs include Broussard with 11 assists, a team-best six kills, five digs, four blocks and two aces. Kaufman had a team-high 15 digs, while Greene made 11 digs and five kills. Senior Kerissa Mitchell had a team-high five blocks along with two kills and two digs, Christensen had seven digs, and Coley and sophomore Savannah Walker had three kills apiece.

After the Twin City Invitational, Gering will play at Alliance on Tuesday in a prelude the Western Conference tournament at Sidney on Oct. 8.

Scottsbluff
The Bearcats came close in their two matches at the Chadron Triangular but could not score a victory against either the host Cardinals or the Bridgeport Bulldogs.

In the first match, Scottsbluff took the first game but lost out to Bridgeport 21-15, 25-12, 25-20.

“Against Bridgeport we had a great first set, and then their block got the best of us,” Scottsbluff coach Megan Burda said. “I have to give them credit, they are a good team. We also had quite a few errors that second set that hurt us.”

For the Bearcats, junior Morgan Westphal had 11 kills and 14 digs, while senior Morgan Yost had 15 digs, nine kills and two aces. Senior Megan Gealy made 12 assists and nine digs and junior Lauren Miller had 13 digs.

Scottsbluff again took Game 1 against Chadron but came up short in two hotly contest second and third games, with the Cardinals emerging 19-25, 25-21, 26-24.

“Chadron was a great match all the way around,” Burda said. “The girls came out and played hard, we just have to find a way to get everything put together at the right time.”

Westphal had 11 kills and 12 digs and Miller made 14 digs against the Cardinals, while senior Abby Benson made 11 assists with three digs and Gealy had nine assists, three aces and six digs. Junior Brayden Auer had two blocks in each match, and senior Taylor Muzzey had two blocks against Chadron.

The Cardinals also defeated Bridgeport 25-21, 25-16.
After the Twin City tournament, Scottsbluff (2-10 before Tuesday home match against Sidney) will travel back to Chadron for action Thursday night and then will play in the Western Conference tournament two days later in Sidney.

Mitchell Invitational
Following its sweep of its own triangular, Chadron then came to Scotts Bluff County on Saturday and continued its winning ways by capturing the Mitchell Invitational, defeating the host Tigers in battle of a championship match 19-25, 29-27, 27-25.

Mitchell (13-2) thus lost for the second time in a week, both to Chadron, which had broken the Tigers’ season-opening 10-match winning streak.

Senior Nicole Houston made 14 kills for Mitchell, while senior Andee Grentz had 10 kills and 18 digs. Tiger senior Chalsey Grentz had 26 digs and senior Michelle Keener passed 28 assists.

In its pool-play matches, Mitchell swept Morrill 25-16, 25-6 and Bayard 25-10, 25-10.

In the consolation matches, Gordon-Rushville defeated Bayard for third place 25-8, 25-23, while Hemingford came back to claim fifth against Morrill 21-25, 25-21, 25-20.

Banner County
The lineup-thin Wildcats had a hard time getting started Thursday night at Harrisburg against Hemingford, but before falling to the Bobcats in three straight games Banner County showed signs of promise and a spark that almost forced a fourth game.

In the end, Hemingford headed up Highway 71 with a 25-11, 25-18, 25-21 victory.

“In the first set we had lots of girls missing so we had to change our lineup,” Banner County coach Angie Hilbert said. “We came out in the second and had more fire.”

The Wildcats overcame two deficits in the third game, and with a four-point rally they took a 21-20 lead. However, the Bobcats broke serve and won the final points to claim the match.

“We are not emotionally tough yet, and hopefully we will find that toughness and bring it to the rest of our matches,” Hilbert said. “At times we looked great. We just need to get consistency and get off that rollercoaster.”

Senior Jessica Bruce had 22 digs, six kills and two aces for Banner County, while seniors Miranda Furrey, Jenny Garcia and Brooke Wyatte had 11 digs apiece. Wyatte and junior Kodee Muhr each had two aces.
The Wildcats are 3-9 after finishing 1-2 in the Crawford tournament Saturday. After losing to Crawford and Hay Springs, Banner County rebounded to sweep Oelrichs, S.D.

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