Bulldogs capture fourth straight Western Conference title
     2011-10-13      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber Gering seniors Kayleigh Schadwinkel (No. 10), Morgan Greene (No. 2) and Stephanie Coley (No. 18) put their guard up against Cheyenne East junior Thyme Cook during the teams’ volleyball match Tuesday ni 
Athletes and teams often set big goals for themselves. When they are goals that take multiple years to achieve, finally reaching that accomplishment makes the moment all the sweeter.

For the Gering volleyball team, a four-year quest of winning the Western Conference Tournament became reality when the Bulldogs swept through all three of their matches at Sidney High School.

The Bulldogs (21-5) opened pool play with a 25-14, 25-13 win over Scottsbluff and then defeated Mitchell 25-18, 25-18 to advance to the championship match.

In the final, Gering topped Chadron 25-26, 26-24 to claim that fourth consecutive conference title.

"I cannot recollect as a head coach that a team has won the Western Conference four times in a row," said Gering coach Craig Schadwinkel, in his 27th season of leading the Bulldogs' program.
"The kids were really focused and ready to play and executed well. We did some of the new things we've been working on and feel good about leaving their mark and accomplishing that goal."

Scottsbluff (7-16) -- which was coming off a five-game win at Chadron last Thursday -- went winless on Saturday, dropping its other pool-play match to Mitchell 25-14, 25-18 and falling to Alliance in the fifth-place match 25-18, 18-25, 25-23.

Mitchell (19-4) finished fourth after dropping a pair of 25-23 games to Sidney in the third-place match.

The day was Gering's, however, and for the senior-laden Bulldogs that have been with Schadwinkel since the fourth grade, the monumental day's effort was well-rounded.

In the win over Scottsbluff, senior Kayleigh Schadwinkel had 11 assists, nine digs, six kills, five blocks and two aces. Senior Morgan Broussard had 12 assists, six kills six digs, two blocks and one ace. Senior Amy Christensen had five digs, two kills, one block and one ace. Senior Morgan Greene made eight digs, seven kills, five blocks, two assists and one ace. Senior Kenzie Duncan had four kills, two digs, two aces and one block. Senior Darci Kaufman had 12 digs and one ace. Senior Stephanie Coley made three kills, two blocks and two digs. Senior Kerissa Mitchell had one kill and one block, and sophomore Savannah Walker had one kill.

Against Mitchell, Schadwinkel had 14 assists, 10 digs, three blocks (two solo), and two aces; Broussard recorded nine assists, eight kills, five digs, two blocks (one solo) and one ace; Christensen made eight digs, three kills, two blocks and an ace; Greene had 10 digs, six kills, four blocks and two aces; Duncan made three kills, two digs, one block and one ace; Kaufman had 15 digs and an ace; Coley had two kills, two digs and two blocks; and Walker had a kill and block each.

In the finale against Chadron, Schadwinkel had 12 assists, nine digs, five kills, two blocks and two aces; Christensen had 14 digs, four kills, two blocks and one ace; Broussard had 13 assists, six digs, three blocks, four kills and one ace; Duncan made four kills, four digs and one block; Greene made nine kills, nine digs, four blocks and three aces; Kaufman had 16 digs and one ace; and Coley had one kill, dig and block each.

Gering had its final home match of the season Tuesday night against Cheyenne East. The Bulldogs then face Scottsbluff at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Bearcats' home finale.

Scottsbluff then travels to McCook on Saturday for triangular action that includes Ogallala. On Tuesday, Gering travels to Sidney and Scottsbluff visits Alliance.

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