Gering takes 3rd in Twin City tourney
     2011-10-06      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen Gering senior Kenzie Duncan (No. 3) spikes the volleyball while Bulldog senior Morgan Greene eyes the play from floor level during the Bulldogs' third-place victory over Scottsbluff in th 
Gering and Scottsbluff were not scheduled to play on the volleyball court again until Oct. 13. As fate had it, and thanks to an unexpected run of success by Scottsbluff, the arch-rivals and tournament co-hosts found themselves playing for third place Saturday in the Twin City Invitational at the Gering High School gymnasium.

The Bulldogs (17-5), semifinal losers to Ogallala, rebounded from that defeat to take out the Bearcats in the third-place match 25-12, 25-15.

The third-place win came after the Bulldogs had beaten Gordon-Rushville 25-23, 25-11 in Saturday’s quarterfinals but then lost a hard-fought, three-game battle to Ogallala, 21-25, 25-12, 25-22.
“You can’t fault the kids in that match,” Schadwinkel said of the loss to Ogallala. ‘“They left everything on the court.

“Then we turned around a beat a Scottsbluff team that has been really hot on the court this weekend. I give credit to the kids and the goals they wanted to accomplish this weekend.”

The loss ended a spirited Twin City Invite run by the Bearcats (6-13), who entered the tournament with just two wins but rode a four-match winning streak into the semifinals. Scottsbluff began Saturday’s bracket by downing McCook 25-19, 25-8 but was denied a berth in the finals by eventual tournament champion Grand Island Northwest with a semifinal loss of 25-13, 25-9.

Northwest (21-3), which emerged from pool play as the tournament bracket’s No. 3 seed behind Gering and Scottsbluff (all were unbeaten at 3-0), then overpowered Ogallala (15-7) in the championship match 25-10, 25-14.

“We needed to get a little conference back,” Scottsbluff coach Megan Burda said. “Grand Island Northwest was so quick, then playing Gering right after, we just came out flat.

“The girls came together really, really well. We are going to take the great things out of this tournament and build on them (this) week in practice. Against McCook, they came out ready to play ball.”
Among Scottsbluff’s three victories on Friday was a 25-19, 25-23 win over Ogallala. The Bearcats also won their pool by beating Gordon-Rushville 25-18, 25-10 and Lexington 25-17, 25-11.

Gering advanced to Saturday’s bracket after sweeping through its pool schedule on Friday at GHS. The Bulldogs defeated Cheyenne South 25-6, 25-13, McCook 25-12, 25-7 and Torrington 15-17, 25-11.

“That first day, the kids played really well,” Schadwinkel said. “They came our aggressively and wanted to dictate the tempo of the match, and you could see that by the scores of the matches.”

In Saturday’s matches, Gering was led against Gordon-Rushville by senior Kayleigh Schadwinkel’s 15 assists and seven kills, along with seven digs and one service ace. Senior Darci Kaufman had team highs of 15 digs and two aces, while senior Morgan Greene had 14 digs and a team-best seven blocks (all solo). Senior Morgan Broussard had 14 assists, 10 digs, six kills and three blocks, and senior Stephanie Coley also made six kills.

Against Ogallala, Kaufman had 34 digs and senior Amy Christensen made 24, while Schadwinkel had 16 digs, 20 assists and five kills. Broussard had 19 assists and a team-high 10 kills and four blocks (three solo). Senior Kenzie Duncan added six kills, eight digs and to solo blocks.

In beating Scottsbluff, Schadwinkel had 13 digs and eight kills for team highs, along with 10 assists and two solo blocks. Broussard had a team-high 11 assists and four solo blocks and two aces. Kaufman had 12 digs and Christen made eight while Greene had three solo blocks and four kills.

For Scottsbluff against Gering, senior Morgan Yost had team highs of eight digs and four kills with two aces, while seniors Abby Benson and Megan Gealy had seven digs apiece and Benson had a team-high 10 assists.

In the Bearcats’ win over McCook, junior Morgan Westphal had 11 kills, seven digs, two blocks and one ace. Junior Brayden Auer had a team-best three kills, Benson made 20 assists and senior Taylor Muzzey had five blocks, five kills and two aces.

Against Northwest, Westphal had six kills, while Yost and junior Lauren Miller had four digs apiece and Benson made seven assists.
After playing at Alliance on Tuesday night, Gering will join Scottsbluff and the rest of the Western Conference field for their annual league tournament Saturday in Sidney. Scottsbluff plays at Chadron on Thursday before making the conference tourney trip to Sidney.

“One of the kids’ goals is a fourth-straight conference championship. That’s never been done in all the years I’ve been around,” Schadwinkel said. “It will be a tough tournament. It won’t be given to the winner, they will have to earn it.”

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