Bearcats prey on struggling Bulldogs
     2016-09-16      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen Twin sisters Courtney (8) and Mariah Conn go up for a block against Scottsbluff. 
The rival Scottsbluff Bearcats varsity volleyball team capitalized on a struggling Bulldogs squad Tuesday night at a raucous Scottsbluff High School gym, taking down Gering, 3-1.

Scottsbluff went 25-21, 25-14, 16-25, and 25-13.

This was Gering’s second loss of the season to Scottsbluff, the first match a 2-1 loss on September 3 at home.

Gering, with a 2-6 record, travels to a Gothenburg tourney this weekend, then competes in duals versus Hershey, St. Paul, Gothenburg, Ogallala, Kearney Catholic, and Minden.

On the scoring side, Gering’s Arianna Mitchell had 10 kills, and Victoria Schwartz had 4, while Brittney Spreier recorded 4 aces, Courtney Conn, 3, and MaKenzie Dunkel, 2.

“We had some good moments, but much like the Chadron match and those in Gillette (Wyoming) we get in periods where we don’t seem to be able to perform and those stretches last way to long,” said Gering Head Coach David Lashley. “The team would like to cut down on the unforced errors. We have way too many, and we have to play better defense.”

In the first set, Gering jumping out to a 3-2 lead, extending that lead to 8-3 before the Cats finally answered. Trading service errors, a trend throughout the match, and a brief timeout by Coach Lashley, Gering held the advantage, up 12-8 before junior Victoria Schwartz turned it back over to Scottsbluff by firing it into the net.

With junior middle-hitter London Harris serving, Scottsbluff pulled even with the Dogs at 12-12. The action went back and forth until the Bearcats finally pulled ahead at 18-17, for good. Errors more than offensive scoring, left a lot to be desired, especially with bragging rights on the line. Scottsbluff had a 22-21 advantage, and it’s all they would need, capping the set, 25-21.

In the second set, Gering jumped out with the advantage and kept it close, before Harris was back behind the service line launching aces, eventually extending the Cats’ 19-9 lead.

The Bulldogs attempted a weak rally, clawing back into the set with five points, before Scottsbluff finally closed out the set for a 25-14 result.

After the intermission, the Bulldogs, up 2-2, rode the momentum created by sophomore middle-hitter Dunkel and her serves that found the defensive cracks on the Bearcats side of the net. Gering created a comfortable margin at 22-16, putting the set out of reach. The Bulldogs then cruised to a 25-16 final score.

In the final set, which was all the time Scottsbluff needed to close out the match, the Cats pulled away with the score at 18-11, and senior Avery Krentz continued the attack on a mistake-prone Gering. Harris was the last server for Scottsbluff, bringing the match home, 25-13, in the final frame.

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