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Northeast NE Volleyball | KTIC Radio

Northeast Nebraska Volleyball

Stanton wins first state title in school history

Stanton won state for the first time ever, downing Centura 3-1 in the first round at Lincoln Southwest Thursday night, Hastings St. Cecilia 3-0 in the semifinals Friday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and Diller-Odell 3-0 in the state championship Saturday afternoon at the Devaney Center.

The Centurions took set one from the Mustangs, 25-23, before Stanton won set two 25-22, set three 25-18, and set four 25-15.

Jessie Brandl totaled 25 kills and 13 digs while Bree Burtwhistle posted 15 kills, 14 digs, and 34 set assists. Hannah Heppner contributed 13 kills. MacKenzie Brandl notched 26 digs while Makenna Espinoza registered 8 digs and 24 set assists. Katie Brandl added 8 digs.

The Mustangs earned a 25-16 set one win over the Hawkettes. Stanton took set two 25-13 and set three 25-14.

Jessie Brandl recorded 12 kills and 8 digs while Bree Burtwhistle put down 10 kills and had 12 digs and 20 set assists. Heppner notched 9 kills while MacKenzie Brandl posted 14 digs and 7 set assists. Katie Brandl added 10 digs with Espinoza dishing out 7 set assists.

The Mustangs took care of the Griffin 25-22 in the first set, 25-23 in the second set, and 25-21 in the second set.

Jessie Brandl registered 21 kills while Burtwhistle and Heppner totaled 12 apiece. Katie Brandl posted 7 kills and 7 digs while MacKenzie Brandl had 23 digs and 9 digs. Burtwhistle added 14 digs and 27 set assists while Espinoza compiled 16 set assists.

Head Coach Tracy Kuester-Burtwhistle says winning state was a big deal for everyone involved.

"The players worked so hard in the off season and season for this and it was a goal they communicated out to win Class C2.  They played very competitive volleyball at the State Tournament and bringing home that State Championship Trophy is something the players, coaches, fans and community are very proud to have accomplished."

Kuester-Burtwhistle adds the team really locked in after the set loss to Centura.

"After the 1st set we lost, we just asked the players to refocus and realize it's one set. Let's get out there and control what we can control - be aggressive servers, play defense first, setters make good choices and all hitters be ready to attack to kill. And that is exactly what they did:)"

It was a picture perfect season for Stanton. Things couldn't have ended any better than they did for the Mustangs.

Stanton wraps up their state championship season with a 31-6 record.

The State wins were huge, and the wins over Clarkson/Leigh, Pierce (twice), Twin River (three times), Lutheran High Northeast (twice), Battle Creek, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Wisner-Pilger (twice), West Point-Beemer, Howells-Dodge (twice), Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, and Nebraska Christian were big as well.

All of those teams except West Point-Beemer had records above .500.

Everyone the Mustangs lost to had at least 19 wins with everyone besides Hartington Cedar Catholic winning over 20 matches.

Burtwhisle led the way with 342 kills on the season while Jessie Brandl notched 317. MacKenzie Brandl posted a team-high 613 digs while Burtwhistle also had the team lead in set assists with 594.

This team has the potential to be scary good next year, in my opinion.

Burtwhistle and Jessie Brandl are back as is Espinoza, Heppner, and Allie Spence, among others.

Stanton says goodbye to MacKenzie Brandl, Kiley Wiedeman, Ashley Colwell, Sally Brechbill, Lizzy Kremlacek, and Katie Brandl.

These girls are significant losses, but the Mustangs have to be really thrilled with all who they bring back.

Kuester-Burtwhistle says this year's team came together as one.

"It was a team that was coachable and every set back we might endured they learned from it. We had tears at times in celebration and tears at times in frustration, however through it all they stayed focused and learned that the 'star' of the team is the TEAM."

When asked about repeating next year, Kuester-Burtwhistle had this to say.

"hmmm - has it crossed my mind - yes!  Have we talked about it as a team yet - no:).  The 2017 team will have 4 or really 5 returning starters."

We will find out soon enough what Stanton does for an encore.
GACC takes 4th at State

Lincoln-The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Volleyball team came back from big deficits in both the first and last sets to stun Lutheran High Northeast 3-2 at the State Tournament in Lincoln Thursday night.

The Bluejays trailed 23-14 in set one only to rattle off 11 straight points and win set one 25-23. The Eagles responded by winning set two 25-22 before GACC took set three 25-20. LHNE won set four 25-13 to force a fifth set. GACC trailed 13-7 in the final set, but scored 8 straight points to win 15-13.

Maddie Knobbe poured in a match-high 28 kills and added 9 blocks and 9 digs for the Bluejays while Riley Throener notched 9 kills and 7 digs. Ally Plagge registered 19 digs while Lisa Gatzemeyer totaled 18. Kali Stratman recorded 13 digs and 41 set assists.

Gatzemeyer scored 11 straight points for the Bluejays at one point....and Head Coach Kate Hagemann got a little choked up during the post game interview about the S and W Welding Player of the Game.

"I've never been more proud of a kid. Lisa I thought just played phenomenal behind the service line. And man she kept some balls alive for us. A lot of balls that weren't even hers that she was just making reads on and getting to them. Two years ago she was my student manager. And now she's the starting defensive specialist on a team that's playing in the semifinals. And she's why you coach. She's just that type of kid so I'm really proud of her."

Hagemann on the win.

"That's just what high school sports should be about. I mean that's a lot of fun. I think that we rode the ups and downs, and we never gave up. And we got really tough in tough situations. And that's everything you want out of your team, and we did it at the right time."

GACC fell 3-1 to Johnson-Brock in the State Semifinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Friday.

The Bluejays won set one 26-24 before the Eagles took set two 25-19, and sets three and four 25-17.

Knobbe paced GACC with 18 kills, 9 blocks, and 11 digs while Throener had 8 kills. Stratman notched 16 digs and 31 set assists while Plagge totaled 11 digs. Gatzemeyer and Allie Knobbe posted 10 and 7, respectively.

The Bluejays took the first two sets from Elgin Public/Pope John in Saturday's third place match at Lincoln Southeast, winning set one 25-23, and set two 25-22. The Wolfpack bounced back to win set three 25-21, set four 25-13, and set five 15-10.

Maddie Knobbe poured in a match-high 28 kills and 12 digs with Plagge totaling 18 digs. Allie Knobbe compiled 12 digs while Stratman contributed 10 digs and 47 set assists.

I thought it was a pretty good season for GACC. The Bluejays would of liked to have gone farther in the state tournament I'm sure, but the win over Lutheran High Northeast is something these players, coaches, and fans will remember for the rest of their lives for sure.

GACC wraps up the season at 18-12.

It was sort of an up and down year for the Bluejays, whose biggest wins came against Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, Homer, Battle Creek, Wisner-Pilger, Wayne, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Clarkson/Leigh, and Cedar Bluffs.

GACC wasn't as dominant as they have been in recent years, but still pretty good.

Maddie Knobbe led the team with 444 kills this season while Plagge led the team in digs with 319. Stratman had a team-high 725 set assists.

The Bluejays say goodbye to Maddie Knobbe, Gatzemeyer, Jamie Plagge, Emily Reeson, and Tessa Simonsen.

GACC returns some talent in Throener, Allie Knobbe, Ally Plagge, Stratman, and Maddie Bracht.

The Bluejays lose their team leader and best player in Maddie Knobbe though.

Someone is going to have to step up and help fill the void left by her.

Her production and leadership will be missed without a doubt. She carried this team this year, and without her, GACC would have really struggled, in my opinion.

The good news for the Bluejays is they have a whole offseason to figure something out in terms of replacing her.

It's important for these girls to work really hard from now until August, and lift and play the sport of Volleyball often.

I'm sure a lot of these girls play other sports like basketball, and that's wonderful, but devoting proper time to Volleyball in the offseason is important.

The returning players and newcomers have to be committed and devoted to working hard and improving this offseason.
North Bend Central loses to Wahoo Neumann at State

Lincoln-The North Bend Central Volleyball team came up short against Bishop Neumann at the State Tournament on Thursday, losing 3-0.

The Cavaliers won set one 25-23, and sets two and three 25-18.

Brooke Fredrickson paced the Tigers with 13 kills with Kristin Lux putting down 11.

North Bend Central played their best volleyball in the first set, in my opinion, but couldn't get over the hump in any of the sets, especially the second and third.

North Bend Central ends the season at 28-3.

It was such a memorable season for the Tigers.

North Bend's biggest wins of the season came over BRLD (twice), Wisner-Pilger (twice), Lutheran High Northeast, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family (twice),  Twin River (twice), Shelby/Rising City, Tekamah-Herman, Clarkson/Leigh, Howells-Dodge, Stanton (twice), and West Point-Beemer.

All of those teams finished the season above .500 except for West Point-Beemer, who was a .500 team.

I felt this team played their best Volleyball when the stakes were high, and was a real dominant force this season.

You really couldn't of asked for more if you are the Tigers.

North Bend Central had a very good season and definitely proved they were a great team and are a great program.

From what I understand a lot of talent comes back next year.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Tigers make state again next season.

These girls worked really hard last offseason, and it's going to take that same kind of effort, if not a better effort, to get back to the top again next year.

I'm sure these girls will be up to the task though.

I look for 2017 to be another really good year for North Bend Central. I think this season was just a preview of the great things that are to come with this program.

The Tigers now have to be considered legit and a top contender in Class C-1 Volleyball.

North Bend Central really proved some doubters wrong and turned some heads this season without a doubt.
GACC sweeps Cedar Bluffs to advance to State

Guardian Angels Central Catholic is headed to the State Tournament for the 7th year in a row after defeating Cedar Bluffs 3-0 in the D1-2 District Final at North Bend Thursday night.

The Bluejays won set one 25-22, set two 26-24, and set three 25-23.

Maddie Knobbe led GACC with 20 kills while Riley Throener totaled 7. Kali Stratman added 12 digs and 32 set assists while Ally Plagge and Lisa Gatzemeyer notched 8 and 7 digs, respectively.

The Bluejays won in three set, but had to battle back after being down big.

"When you're down 12-4 and you take your last timeout it's sad to say, but we've been in that situation before just a couple weeks ago. And we found a way a couple weeks ago to comeback and win. And so our schedule has really prepared us to be tough, and we've been challenged a lot mentally and physically in our schedule. And so it shows in games like that our kids don't give up, and it was a great comeback for them." Head Coach Kate Hagemann said.

Hagemann says her team didn't play their best match, but good enough to win.

"Yeah I was really happy for the girls that we found a way to win. Honestly I didn't feel like we ever really relaxed. I never felt like we got in much of a rhythm. We didn't pass the ball very well, which didn't allow us to be very good at any of the other skills, but we always battled, and we found a way to win every set."

Hagemann's girls are 17 and 10.

"Well we took a few lumps during the season, and we had some ups and downs. Once we got to Sub-District play I said you guys are ready for these games, and if we play like we did towards the end of the regular season and into the conference, there's no reason that we can't continue to be successful."

Guardian Angels Central Catholic and 21-13 Lutheran High Northeast meet for the 3rd time this season at State on Thursday.

The Eagles won both regular season matchups, and Hagemann says LHNE is a quality team.

"Both times we felt like if we just would of played a little better we would of been right there with them so they're a good team, they're extremely well coached, they're going to pass the ball very well, they're going to put pressure on you with their serve, and they're going to try and be aggressive."

The Eagles downed the Bluejays 2-0 on September 1st at the Northeast Nebraska Classic, and 2-1 on October 6th at the Wisner-Pilger Triangular.

LHNE had the upper hand the first two matches of the season, but this is state and it's a whole new ball game.

I fully expect GACC to play well and give the Eagles all they can handle.

It's tough to beat a team three times in one season, and I don't know if the Bluejays will lose to LHNE three times.

So the third time could be the charm for GACC, but I expect this match to be close and tightly contested.

I wouldn't be surprised if it went five sets. I feel both of these teams are pretty solid.

Knobbe needs to come up big for the Bluejays, and GACC needs to remain focused and determined like they have lately.

The field is tough, but the Bluejays are battle tested,  and I think GACC has a chance to make another state run.

I think the Bluejays are fully capable of playing for a state championship on Saturday, but GACC just has to take things one match at a time.

First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln East, and the match will be aired on 107.9 the Bull.
North Bend Central sweeps Lincoln Christian in Sub-State match to make state

For the first time since 1997, the North Bend Central Tigers are in the State Tournament as they knocked off Lincoln Christian 3-0 in the C1-8 District Final at Wahoo on Saturday.

The Tigers took set one 25-23, set two 25-14, and set three 25-18.

Head Coach Amy Sterup on Alex Humlicek and Jacki Minarick.

"Yes they both hit very well. You know everybody stepped up their game, and they never once had a low where they were feeling like the game was out of control, they kept it in control."

Kristin Lux led the way with 13 kills while Brooke Fredrickson had 9. Minarick totaled 8 while Humlicek notched 7.

Sterup says her squad is excited to be at state.

"It is a great feeling. The girls have worked hard this season and throughout the summer. And so it was a good feeling. They played well on Saturday. You couldn't ask for better play out of the girls."

North Bend Central (28-2) battles Bishop Neumann (27-3) in the first round of state Thursday afternoon.

The Cavaliers swept Pierce 3-0 in the C1-2 District Final at Columbus Scotus on Saturday.

Sterup says her team has to play well defensively.

"They're going to run a quick offense. I think it's going to be a defensive game both ways for us. Height wise I think we have the advantage, but they're quick, but so are we. So I think it's going to come down to our defense and who's going to play the better defense."

Neumann is the top seed and is expected to win, but I think the Tigers can give the Cavaliers a run for their money.

The biggest thing is not being in awe of the state atmosphere. It's great that North Bend Central is there, but the Tigers have to quickly adjust to their surroundings in a gym larger than what they're used to playing in.

North Bend Central has to play their game, and not let anything, like the crowd, get to them.

You can bet both schools' fans will be fired up and ready to go, and I'm willing to bet the crowd from North Bend will make quite a bit of noise.

Making state doesn't happen every year, and so this is a really special thing for the Tigers.

North Bend Central has to make the most of their state appearance, and do everything they can to hang around all weekend.

The winner gets either St. Paul or Omaha Concordia, and I think the Tigers can beat either of those teams should they get past Neumann.

North Bend Central is a very good team, and has earned their spot in the state tournament.

The Tigers didn't get the greatest seed, but North Bend Central has a chance to prove themselves in this state tournament, if they haven't done that already.

I look for the Tigers to have a good showing and represent their school well. I think it will be a successful trip to state for North Bend Central, win or lose.

The Tigers have their work cut out for them against Neumann, but to be the best you have to beat the best.

First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln North Star. The match can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.
Stanton advances to state for second straight year

The Stanton Mustangs are back at the state tournament as they defeated Nebraska Christian 3-1 in the C2-3 District Final at David City Aquinas on Saturday.

Stanton took set one 25-22 before the Eagles claimed set two 25-17. The Mustangs won set three 25-10, and set four 25-11.

Bree Burtwhistle and Jessie Brandl registered 13 kills apiece while Hannah Heppner totaled 10. MacKenzie Brandl recorded 37 digs while Jessie Brandl notched 18. Burtwhistle contributed 10 digs and 25 set assists while Katie Brandl and Makenna Espinoza compiled 8 digs and 15 set assists, respectively.

What a great match Stanton played. It has to be a great feeling and accomplishment for this program to get back to state.

The Mustangs (28-6) square off with Centura (20-10) in the first round of the State Tournament on Thursday at Lincoln Southwest.

The Centurions beat Hemingford 3-1 in the C2-7 District Final at Paxton on Saturday.

I like Stanton's chances of winning Thursday night.

The Mustangs have played a tough schedule, and are battle tested.

I feel like this is a pretty favorable matchup for Stanton.

The Mustangs still have to go out there and do the work, but if Stanton plays up to their capability, they should be able to advance to Friday.

Centura is led by Emily Krolikowski, who has 344 kills on the season. Brooklyn Hostetler has 205.

Those two players appear to be the Centurions' biggest hitters, but I think Stanton is capable of slowing down and/or limiting both of them.

I look for Jessie Brandl, Burtwhistle, Heppner, MacKenzie Brandl, and Espinoza to have solid matches for Stanton.

I feel the Mustangs have too many weapons for the Centurions to handle.

I look for Stanton to win something like 3-1, much like the Nebraska Christian match.

The semifinals appear like they would be difficult for either team with the winner getting either Crofton or Hastings St. Cecilia.

But the Mustangs should just worry about getting there first. Stanton's focus has to be on Centura, and Centura only.

If the Mustangs beat the Centurions then they can focus on making it back to the state championship.

The biggest thing for Stanton is to take things one point, one set, and one match at a time, and not get too ahead of themselves.

While having dreams of making it back to the state championship is good, simply playing the match and relishing the state atmosphere is what the Mustangs have to do to be successful on Thursday, in my opinion.

First serve is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Howells-Dodge ends year with sub-state loss

The Howells-Dodge Jaguars saw their season come to an end on Saturday as they lost 3-1 to Hastings St. Cecilia in the C2-5 District Final at Centennial.

The Hawkettes won set one 25-18 before the Jaguars took set two 25-18. St. Cecilia took sets three and four 25-20.

Kalli Brester had 22 kills and 11 digs while Sam Brester notched 13 kills and 7 digs. Macey Kulhanek finished with 19 digs while Emily Ritzdorf and Hailey Coufal totaled 15 and 8, respectively. Tessa Brester registered 40 set assists.

It was a valiant effort on Howells-Dodge's part, but the Hawkettes are just really good.

The Jaguars conclude the year at 25-7.

It was certainly a memorable season for Howells-Dodge, and I would say this year's team was better than last year's team that qualified for state in D-1.

I don't think there's any doubt the Jaguars would be at state if they were in Class D-1 this year.

Howells-Dodge had some big wins this year with victories coming against Winside, Cedar Bluffs, Hartington-Newcastle, Lutheran High Northeast, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, Clarkson/Leigh, Twin River, Stanton, West Point-Beemer, and Wisner-Pilger.

The Jaguars had a marvelous season, and shouldn't soon forget all their accomplishments and achievements.

Kalli Brester led the way in kills with 362 while Sam Brester had 242. Kalli Brester also led the way in digs with 294. Tessa Brester finished with 789 set assists.

Howells-Dodge graduates Tessa Brester, Elisia Vogel, Ritzdorf, Coufal, Haley Eikmeier, Kalli Brester, and Sam Brester.

All of these girls will no doubt be missed, and did great things for Jaguar Volleyball.

Howells-Dodge brings back the likes of Kulhanek, Erin Prusa, Jessi Brester, and Taya VanLengen.

The Jaguars will be pretty young next year from the looks of it.

I don't know if Howells-Dodge will be as good next year as they were next year, but I still expect the Jaguars to compete well and put a quality team on the floor.

It will be interesting to see if the Jaguars will still be in C-2 next year or if they drop back down to D-1.

I feel like the argument could be made for Howells-Dodge being one of the best 8 teams in C-2 this year, but next year it might be tough for the Jaguars to make a District Final/Sub-State match if they're still in C-2.

Under the old format, Howells-Dodge would have made it to Lincoln with a wildcard this year, but under this new format, the Jaguars had to play a really tough opponent, a perennial power, and powerhouse to get to state.

I'm not saying Howells-Dodge can't make state in C-2 next year, but it's going to be more difficult than if the Jaguars are in D-1. In this year's case, St. Cecilia is a big C-2 school while Howells-Dodge is a small C-2.
North Bend Central sweeps Madison in regular season finale, wins Sub-District C1-6

The North Bend Central Tigers topped Madison 3-0 at home last Thursday night to end the regular season.

The Tigers took set one 25-6, set two 25-14, and set three 25-15.

North Bend Central swept Winnebago 3-0 in the C1-6 Sub-District at Oakland-Craig Monday night.

The Tigers won sets one and two 25-3, and set three 25-6.

North Bend Central was led by Kristin Lux, who had 9 kills.

North Bend Central advanced to a Saturday Sub-State match by defeating West Point-Beemer 3-0 in the Sub-District Final Tuesday night.

The Tigers won set one 25-10, set two 25-13, and set three 25-16.

Lux paced the Tigers with 17 kills while Brooke Fredrickson notched 8.

Head Coach Amy Sterup.

"We were looking for the intensity and just making sure that we're playing our game, and we need to be at the top level, this is the time. It's do or die basically now. So we just need to make sure that we keep our energy up no matter who's on the other side."

North Bend Central (27-2) takes on Lincoln Christian (23-5) in the C1-8 District Final at Wahoo Saturday afternoon.

The Crusaders lost 3-1 to undefeated Malcolm in the C1-2 Sub-District Final at Lincoln East Tuesday night.

Lincoln Christian appears to be the real deal, but the Tigers are a really good team too.

This should be a really good match between two pretty equal teams.

North Bend Central has the better record, but the Crusaders have played some really tough teams.

Lincoln Christian's losses are to Bishop Neumann, GICC, Omaha Concordia (twice), and the aforementioned Clippers.

I feel both teams are battle tested, and that should make for a great match.

I don't know who's going to's tough to call.

The Tigers have had a great season, and if they could make it to state, it would be a really big deal for this program.

North Bend Central has to fight and claw for every point, and be focused on every serve.

The Tigers have to play hard all the way through the match, and do everything they possibly can to win.

Avery Dolliver and Ashlyn Power are the Lincoln Christian players to watch out for if you are North Bend Central.

Dolliver has 328 kills on the season while Power has 215. Power also has 496 set assists.

This is a very good Crusaders' squad, but I think North Bend Central has the potential to win.

I think there's a fairly decent chance this match goes five sets.

Nothing would surprise me in this match though given the way sporting games go these days.

The Tigers have to give it their all and leave everything out on the floor. North Bend Central has to play the way they did in Sub-Districts.

First serve is set for 2:00 p.m. at Wahoo High School. The match can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.
Stanton wins final regular season match and Sub-District C2-7

The Stanton Mustangs defeated Twin River 3-1 at home in the final match of the regular season last Thursday night, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 3-0 Monday night in Sub-District C2-7 action at Norfolk Catholic, and Howells-Dodge 3-1 in the Sub-District Final Tuesday night.

The Mustangs took set one from the Titans 25-19, and won set two 25-22. before dropping set three 25-19. Stanton won set four 25-17.

Hannah Heppner recorded 16 kills while Bree Burtwhistle notched 12 kills, 11 digs, and 25 set assists. Jessie Brandl added 8 kills and 9 digs while MacKenzie Brandl contributed 32 digs. Katie Brandl registered 9 digs while Makenna Espinoza had 9 digs and 15 set assists.

Stanton won set one over the Bulldogs 25-13, set two 25-16, and set three 25-20.

Jessie Brandl had 13 kills and 9 digs while Heppner totaled 9 kills and 7 blocks. MacKenzie Brandl notched 21 digs while Burtwhistle and Katie Brandl recorded 10 and 7, respectively. Burtwhistle added 15 set assists with Espinoza dishing out 14.

The Mustangs took set one over the Jaguars 25-13, and set two 25-18, before Howells-Dodge won set three 27-25. Stanton took set four 25-16.

Jessie Brandl totaled 21 kills and 11 digs while Burtwhistle contributed 14 kills, 11 digs, and 29 set assists. MacKenzie Brandl compiled 26 digs while Katie Brandl and Allie Spence chipped in 8 and 7, respectively. Espinoza registered 15 set assists.

Head Coach Tracy Kuester-Burtwhistle says her team is clicking on all cylinders at the moment.

"We are playing really good TEAM volleyball, everyone knows their role and stepping it up."


"We strive at every practice to know that everyone has an important role on this team and that not only one or two players make a team. They are believing in their abilities and their team mates ability. We communicate a lot about what I'm In = All In!"

The Mustangs (27-6) take on Nebraska Christian (22-8) in the C2-3 District Final at David City Aquinas on Saturday.

The Eagles won Sub-District C2-8 on Tuesday by beating Twin River 3-1.

Kuester-Burtwhistle says her team will come to play.

"We will prepare for the match on Saturday and be ready to compete on all levels."

Stanton has to watch out for Claire Ostrand, who has 310 kills on the season.

If the Mustangs were to win on Saturday, it would be the second consecutive trip to State for Stanton.

Kuester-Burtwhistle says making it back to Lincoln would be another step in the process.

"It would mean that we are one step closer on continuing to build that foundation in the Mustang volleyball program. It's a program that can be successful year after year."

Stanton certainly is good year after year, and I think the Mustangs will show that on Saturday.

You can never take anything for granted this time of year, but I think Stanton stands a good chance to win on Saturday.

The Mustangs have to be on top of their game and play at a high level though.

Stanton has to do that what they have pretty much all season, which is beat people up.

The Mustangs have been really good since the return of Jessie Brandl, and are playing their best volleyball of the season right now, in my opinion.

The way Stanton beat Howells-Dodge was very impressive. Not many teams have downed the Jaguars the way the Mustangs did on Tuesday.

Stanton should be able to get a high seed for the State Tournament if they win so that has to be encouraging and something to look forward to for the Mustangs.

All that matters is that Stanton wins. It doesn't matter if it's a sweep or a five-set win, the big thing is win if you are the Mustangs.

Match time is slated for 2:00 p.m. at Aquinas High School.
Howells-Dodge beats Wisner-Pilger, loses to Stanton in Sub-Districts

The Howells-Dodge Jaguars beat Wisner-Pilger 3-1 at the C2-7 Sub-District at Norfolk Catholic Monday night before falling 3-1 to Stanton in the Sub-District Final Tuesday night.

The Jaguars won set one over the Gators 25-17 and set two 25-20 before Wisner-Pilger earned a 25-16 set three win. Howells-Dodge took set four 25-20.

Kalli Brester had 18 kills and 18 digs while Sam Brester totaled 7 kills and 12 blocks. Hailey Coufal and Macey Kulhanek notched 15 and 13 digs, respectively, while Emily Ritzorf registered 9. Tessa Brester compiled 7 digs and 35 set assists.

The Mustangs took set one 25-13, and set two 25-18, before the Jaguars won set three 27-25. Stanton took set four 25-16.

Kalli Brester posted 16 kills and 7 digs while Kulhanek and Coufal managed 28 and 8 digs, respectively. Tessa Brester recorded 28 set assists.

Head Coach Neil VanLengen on the matches.

"Wisner-Pilger is a really good team, and I thought we played pretty well. They served us tough, but we passed well and were able to side out well. We were able to make a few runs on them to get the win."

"Against Stanton, we didn't match their intensity right from the start. We played from behind every set, and were only able to get it going in the 3rd set to win that one. They have a couple of really tough servers, and we struggled with serve receive. When you give free balls a team that has hitters like them, you are going to give up kills."

Howells-Dodge (25-6) takes on Hastings St. Cecilia (19-14) on Saturday in the C2-5 District Final at Centennial. 

The Hawkettes lost 3-1 to Doniphan-Trumbull in the C2-9 Sub-District Final at Adams Central Tuesday night.

VanLengen says there's a player from St. Cecilia his team has to focus on. 

"They have a 6'2 left handed middle that is going to be really hard to stop. We need to find a way to side out when she is in the front row, and then try to score some points when she is in the back. They are a strong serving team, and play really good defense, so we will need to be on top of game passing, and be very aggressive when we hit to try to get kills."

The Hawkettes may be 19-14, but they are defending state champions, and have lost to teams like Lincoln Christian, Kearney Catholic, and Grand Island Central Catholic.

This is not going to be an easy match whatsoever for the Jaguars, but anything can happen at this time of year, and Howells-Dodge has to think they can win.

The Jaguars have had a very nice season, and to make it to Lincoln again would be a huge deal for Howells-Dodge.

VanLengen says this team has big dreams and goals. 

"This team has worked hard all year to not only make it to state, but to win it all. We will have to play our best games of the year in the next week and a half to get to that goal.  Moving up to C-2 is a much tougher challenge for us, but if we stay positive, and work together, I think we will have a chance in every game."

Kalli Brester, Sam Brester, Kulhanek, Coufal, Ritzdorf, and others need to play well for the Jaguars.

Hastings St. Cecilia is led by Lucy Skoch, who has 357 kills on the season. She is the 6'2 player Howells-Dodge has to watch out for.

This is for all the marbles. Everything is on the line for the Jaguars in this match.

Win and Howells-Dodge is heading to Lincoln. Lose and the season is over.

It would be a shame if the Jaguars didn't make it to Lincoln, but Howells-Dodge is going to have their hands full on Saturday without a doubt. Hastings St. Cecilia is a perennial power and powerhouse.

Match time is set for 1:00 p.m. at Centennial High School in Utica.
West Point-Beemer beats Tekamah-Herman, falls to North Bend Central in Sub-Districts

West Point-Beemer downed Tekamah-Herman 3-2 in the C1-6 Sub-District at Oakland-Craig Monday night before losing 3-0 to North Bend Central in the Sub-District Final Tuesday night.

Tekamah-Herman went up 2-0 after winning set one 25-18, and set two 25-21. But the Cadets roared back to win set three 26-24, set four 25-16, and set five 15-8.

North Bend Central won set one 25-10, set two 25-13, and set three 25-16.

The Cadets were led by Makenna Weddle and Nicole Mitzel with 4 kills apiece.

I thought it was a good season overall for West Point-Beemer. The Cadets did a great job coming back against Tekamah-Herman, and fought as hard as they could against North Bend Central.

West Point-Beemer finishes the year at 15-15.

The Cadets' biggest wins of the season came over Tekamah-Herman (twice), Douglas County West, Scribner-Snyder, BRLD, and Twin River.

All of West Point-Beemer's losses came to teams above .500 with the majority being well above .500.

There's a lot to be proud of if you are the Cadets. I think the future is very bright for West Point-Beemer Volleyball.

The Cadets lose just one senior in Bethany Anderson, who is a significant loss.

West Point-Beemer returns loads of talent next year in Lizbeth Inzunza, Abby Kaup, Katie Pilakowski, Mitzel, Weddle, Brittney Hinkel, Leigh Jahnke, Andrea Hoffman, and Brooke Haase. among others.

The pieces appear to be in place for the Cadets to make a run and be really good in 2017.

The returning players and newcomers have to put in a lot of hard work and time in the offseason, but as long as they do that, West Point-Beemer should have a really good season next year.

I think 2017 has a chance to be a special season for the Cadets.

There will be a half dozen or so seniors on next year's team, and I think that will definitely serve West Point-Beemer well.

I think the Cadets are capable of winning anywhere from 20-25 matches next season.

I look for West Point-Beemer to do what they did this year, which is beat the teams they were supposed to, and pull off more big wins and upsets in 2017.

This was a transition year with it being Monica Wiehn's first season, and I felt things went very well for the Cadets.

With that said, I look for year 2 to be even better as I really think this program is headed in the right direction.

West Point-Beemer probably couldn't of asked for a whole lot more from this season.

With that said, watch out for the Cadets next year.
Tekamah-Herman ends year with Sub-District loss to West Point-Beemer

West Point-Beemer downed Tekamah-Herman 3-2 in the C1-6 Sub-District at Oakland-Craig Monday night.

The Tigers went up 2-0 after winning set one 25-18, and set two 25-21. But the Cadets roared back to win set three 26-24, set four 25-16, and set five 15-8.

Tekamah-Herman had to be disappointed and disheartened by the loss to West Point-Beemer. Credit the Cadets for the comeback, but the Tigers were so close to earning the sweep.

Tekamah-Herman concludes the season with a 12-19 record.

I thought the Tigers still did some nice things this year despite their record.

The wins over Wakefield, Central City, BRLD, Wisner-Pilger, Fremont Bergan, and Scribner-Snyder were pretty good, in my opinion.

The only real bad losses came to O'Neill and Pender. Other than that I thought Tekamah-Herman did alright for the most part.

The Tigers lose just one player in Liz Dlouhy, although she is a very significant loss.

Caty Gross, Marin Jetensky, Maleah Sheets, Lucy Green, and Anna Wakehouse are the key returners for Tekamah-Herman.

I think the Tigers have a chance to be much improved in 2017.

Tekamah-Herman returns almost everyone, and should be primed and ready to make a run next season.

I think the Tigers can definitely be above .500 in 2017, and perhaps even get to 20 wins.

Tekamah-Herman just has to work on being more competitive in all matches they play.

12 of the Tigers' 19 losses came via sweep this season whether that be in Triangulars or Tournaments, or just regular matches.

That has to change for Tekamah-Herman next season.

That can and will change by the Tigers working hard in the offseason and being dedicated to the sport.

These girls need to devote proper time to the game of Volleyball, and make the sport a big part of their lives.

I'm not suggesting every player needs to be a Volleyball junkie and gym rat, but the sport has to matter and be important to the players.

The offseason starts now. Any girls not out for a winter sport should do everything they can to stay active by working out and playing the game.

The more sports and other activities these girls participate in the better off they will be next season and in life.
Winnebago beats Logan View, loses to North Bend Central in Sub-Districts

Winnebago beat Logan View 3-2, but lost 3-0 to North Bend Central in the C1-6 Sub-District at Oakland-Craig Monday night.

The Raiders won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-21 before Winnebago stormed back to win the next three sets, winning set three 26-24, set four 25-22, and set five 25-11.

Delicia Payer had 8 kills to lead the Indians.

Winnebago improved to 6-21 on the season with the win.

North Bend Central ended Winnebago's season, winning sets one and two 25-3, and set three 25-6.

Jean Parker-Morris had 2 kills for the Indians.

I thought Winnebago did a nice job coming back from their 2-0 hole against Logan View. I think North Bend Central simply showed how great of a team they are in that match.

Winnebago ends the year at 6-22.

The highlights of the year for me were the two wins over Omaha Nation, and the win over Walthill.

The win over Logan View is something these girls can use and build on for next season without a doubt.

The Indians graduate 5 seniors in Jasmine Colvin, Allie Frenchman, Jacey Price, Payer, and Angela Bigbear.

These five seniors are significant losses without a doubt. I'm sure their contributions to Winnebago Volleyball will not soon be forgotten.

Jonna Price, Savannah Fierro, Pheobe Blackbird, Parker-Morris, Tia YellowThunder, Aniyah Grant, and Kiana Lewis return, among others, for the Indians.

I think Winnebago has a shot to be better next year than they were this year.

I thought the Indians played well at times this year, and showed signs of promise.

It's now a matter of the returning players and newcomers working hard in the offseason to get better.

It's important for them to workout often and hone their skills by getting in the gym and playing the game.

I know a lot of these girls are involved in basketball and other sports, but Volleyball has to matter and be important to them.

They have to workout and play with a great of confidence and belief during the offseason.

I think it's important for this team to set team and individual goals in the offseason, and work hard at them from now until August.

It's important for this program to go up instead of down in 2017. Volleyball has to be a priority for these girls.

The fans also need to come out and support the team. From what I understand there only two Winnebago fans at  the second Sub-District match. Unreal.

These girls could really use the support of the community.
Logan View ends year with Sub-District loss to Winnebago

Winnebago beat Logan View 3-2 in the C1-6 Sub-District at Oakland-Craig Monday night.

In the first match, the Raiders won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-21 before Winnebago stormed back to win the next three sets, winning set three 26-24, set four 25-22, and set five 25-11.

Logan View was led by Ashley Uhing, who notched 17 kills. Taylor Ruwe added 10.

Assistant Coach Brad Schlegel.

"Those first two games we really were hitting the ball. But after those first two games Winnebago did a great job of just keeping the ball alive. They just kept the ball off the floor, and then we started making a lot of mistakes also. So when we'd put a ball in the court, they'd bring it back over, and then we'd hit it long or hit it in the net, and just kind of killed ourselves with mistakes."

The Raiders end the year at 3-28.

Schlegel on the team's record.

"As we head now into the offseason we really need to start realizing that Volleyball's going to have to be a 12-month commitment instead of a 3-month commitment, and just kind of build players through just training them in the offseason. And unlike college you don't get to recruit players, you get who you got and you got to make a Volleyball team out of it."


"We're definitely on the way up, but kind of getting to a place where we can play with most of the teams that we play against is going to be a battle. And it's something our girls have to buy into, and our girls have to be willing to come in, put in the work, put in the time."

There weren't a lot of bright spots for Logan View this year, but I think the Raiders have a chance to be good in the future if players work hard and believe in what they are doing and being taught.

Logan View graduates four seniors in Hannah Brainard, Jasmine Deluna, Madison Schuler, and Hannah Novotony.

All are big and significant losses for the Raiders, in my opinion, especially the latter three.

Key returners include Uhing, Ruwe, Tyler Christiansen, Jasmine Hanshaw, and Shaylin Daugherty.

As I said I think Logan View can be good in the future, but the Raiders have to be willing to work their tails off year round.

Logan View can't expect to win matches by just playing volleyball for the three months during the season.

Volleyball has to be a year round thing for these girls if they want to get good at it.

I know some if not all of these girls are involved in other sports, and that's wonderful, but it's important for them to play Volleyball when they have time.

Volleyball has to matter and has to be a priority in these girls' lives.

The returning players and newcomers have to stay in shape by working out and playing the game.

The more Volleyball these girls play, the better they will be in 2017.
Wisner-Pilger tops Battle Creek, loses to Howells-Dodge in Sub-Districts

The Wisner-Pilger Gators topped Battle Creek 3-2 before losing 3-1 to Howells-Dodge at the D2-7 Sub-District Tournament at Norfolk Catholic Monday night.

The Gators took set one from the Braves 25-21 before dropping set two 25-15. Wisner-Pilger won set three 25-15 before Battle Creek took set four 25-21. The Gators prevailed in set five with a 16-14 win.

Jayda Oligmueller had 27 kills and 15 digs while Jordan Wegner totaled 18 kills and 12 digs. Ashton Meyer added 13 kills and 23 digs. Lauren Jacobsen recorded 16 digs and 58 set assists while Alissa Meyer and Aspin Waterman totaled 13 and 11 digs, respectively.

The Jaguars won set one 25-17 and set two 25-20 before the Gators earned a 25-16 set three win. Howells-Dodge took set four 25-20.

Oligmueller posted 21 kills and 15 digs while Wegner notched 14 kills and 12 digs. Ashton and Allissa Meyer had 19 and 15 digs, respectively, while Jacobsen registered 7 digs and 45 set assists.

I thought Wisner-Pilger had a chance to upset Howells-Dodge, but it wasn't meant to be, but I thought they would beat Battle Creek and got that right.

The Gators end the year at 20-12.

It was sort of an up and down season for Wisner-Pilger until the end. The Gators really picked things up in the latter part of the regular season, winning 7 out of their last 8 prior to the postseason.

I think that's something Wisner-Pilger can use and build upon for next year. The Gators broke in some new players this year after graduating quite a few last year.

Oligmueller finished with a team-high 356 kills for the season, Maci Batenhorst was second on the team with 267. Jordan Wegner had 174.

I really thought Wegner made a huge impact at the end of the season. Having her in the lineup really allowed this team to improve and progress at the end of the regular season.

Oligmueller also led the team in digs with 255 while Ashton Meyer and Batenhorst totaled 236 and 204, respectively.

Wisner-Pilger graduates four seniors in Oligmueller, Allissa Meyer, Leanna Wolverton, and Molly Schultz.

All are big losses without a doubt with Oligmueller and Meyer being the biggest losses.

Jacobsen, Batenhorst, Wegner, Ashton Meyer, Ariel Meyer, Sutton Bellar, and others return for the Gators.

I think Wisner-Pilger has a really good chance to be good in 2017.

The majority of this year's contributors return from this year's team that didn't do all that bad.

I look for the Gators to get off to a quicker start next year than they did this year given the strong finish at the end of the regular season and girls knowing and understanding their roles a little bit better perhaps,

I look for Wisner-Pilger to do big things in 2017 and contend for state.

The Gators need to work really hard in the offseason to achieve their hopes and dreams next year, but I don't see any reason why Wisner-Pilger can't and won't do that.

The offseason begins now for the Gators. Any girls not out for a winter sport could do themselves a big favor by playing volleyball and staying active with workouts and things of that nature.
BRLD beats Homer, loses to Ponca in Sub-Districts

The Bancroft-Rosalie-Lyons-Decatur Wolverines beat Homer 3-0 in the C2-4 Sub-District Tournament at Wayne Monday night before losing 3-1 to Homer on Tuesday.

The Wolverines took set one from the Knights 25-16, set two 25-23, and set three 25-9.

I thought BRLD did well in the postseason. The Wolverines played real well against Homer, in my opinion.

BRLD concludes the year at 19-15.

The Wolverines started out kind of slow, but picked things up around the middle of the season and finished strong.

Big wins for BRLD came over Omaha Roncalli, Clarkson/Leigh, and Homer.

The only read bad losses for the Wolverines came to Oakland-Craig and Laurel-Concord-Coleridge.

BRLD loses six seniors in Tess Nottleman, Lexie Bacon, Kelly Wakeley, Kennedy Schuttler, Kylee Cole, and Justice Johnson.

All six are big losses for the Wolverines, in my opinion, and won't be easy to replace.

Nottleman, Bacon, and Wakeley are the biggest losses though I would say.

Talent returns though in Vicki Gatzemeyer, Sophia Henneman, Kelcee Bacon, Lauren Ahlers, Brandi Simonsen, Morgan Bonneau, and Tiahna Bonneau.

I think the future is really bright for this program.

This was the first year of the co-op between Bancroft-Rosalie and Lyons-Decatur Northeast, and I would say things went pretty well.

I think next year's team has a chance at even better success than this year's team had due to the fact these girls have had a year to play with one another.

The more these girls play together, and the more repetitions and work they put in, the better and stronger a team they will be.

Things generally improve from year 1 to year 2 in any new situation, and I look for that to be the case with BRLD next season.

I really think the Wolverines are going to be primed and ready for a breakout season in 2017.

There will be quite a few seniors on next year's team too so that should help out a lot.
Oakland-Craig loses to Fremont Bergan in Sub-Districts

The Oakland-Craig Knights lost 3-1 to Fremont Bergan at the C2-3 Sub-District Tournament at Fremont Middle School Monday night.

Oakland-Craig won set one 25-21 before Bergan took the next three sets 25-18, 25-15, and 25-12.

I thought Oakland-Craig had a legit shot to upset Bergan, but credit Bergan for playing well.

Oakland-Craig wraps up the year at 8-24.

The season definitely didn't go the way the Knights thought or hoped it would. It was definitely a rebuilding year for Oakland-Craig, but there were a couple of bright spots.

The wins over BRLD and Clarkson/Leigh are wins the Knights can build off of for next year for sure.

I don't know who all Oakland-Craig brings back next year and loses this year, but I would say the Knights have a chance to be better in 2017 than they were in 2016.

This is honestly a season Oakland-Craig would probably like to put in the rearview mirror.

There was a lot of learning and growing pains without a doubt, but I think the struggles the Knights went through will only make them better and stronger in the future.

I look for 2017 to be a better year than 2016 was for Oakland-Craig. I think the Knights will bounce back and have an improved season next year.

It's going to take a lot of hard work in the offseason by these girls for Oakland-Craig to get back to a high level, but it's not work the returning players and newcomers aren't capable of putting in.

Everyone has to work together and be motivated to do well in the offseason.

There may be mornings the girls don't want to get up for weights or open gyms or camps, but they just have to suck it up and get up.

It's important for these girls to work Volleyball into their schedule, in addition to school and other activities they do.

The more active these girls are, the better I see them being next season.

Volleyball has to be important and a big part of their lives.

It's also important for the returning players and newcomers to have a life outside Volleyball, but Volleyball has to be a priority and not an option.
Scribner-Snyder beats Mead, loses to Humphrey St. Francis in Sub-Districts

The Scribner-Snyder Trojans won 3-2 and lost 3-2 to Mead and Humphrey St. Francis, respectively, at the D2-2 Sub-District Tournament at David City Aquinas Monday night.

The Raiders took set one from the Trojans 27-25 before Scribner-Snyder won the second set 25-16.  The Trojans earned a 30-28 win in set two before Mead won set four 25-19. Scribner-Snyder claimed set five 15-12.

Savannah Miller and Kaylee Boyle totaled 13 kills apiece while Mackenzy Schreck totaled 7 kills and 10 digs. Nicole Boyle registered 23 digs and 25 set assists while Kaylee Boyle and Miller recorded 11 and 10 digs, respectively.

The Trojans won sets one and two over the Flyers 25-19 and 25-22 before dropping the next three sets 25-15, 25-16, and 15-4.

Miller notched 11 kills and 9 digs while Schreck registered 10 kills. Nicole Boyle posted 9 digs and 25 set assists.

I thought Scribner-Snyder represented themselves well in the postseason. I'm sure the Trojans would have loved to have made a district final, and honestly probably should of after going up 2-0 against St. Francis, but it wasn't meant to be.

Scribner-Snyder ends the season at 13-18.

I thought it was a pretty good year for the Trojans as a whole. Scribner-Snyder played a tough schedule, and won some matches they probably wouldn't have in recent years.

The wins over Oakland-Craig, Fremont Bergan, and Omaha Christian Academy were big, in my opinion, and throw in the win over Pender in there as well.

I thought the Trojans did a good job finding success this year and should have some memories to hold onto forever and build on for next season.

Miller was the season-leader in kills with 172. Kaylee Boyle notched 161 while Schreck registered 121.

Nicole Boyle finished with 241 digs to lead the team while Kaylee Boyle notched 238.

Nicole Boyle ended up with 362 set assists.

Scribner-Snyder graduates five seniors in Schreck, Daria Risch, Miller, Veronica Litz, and Mickayla Mandel.

All are key losses in one way or another and will be sorely missed in the future without a doubt.

Nicole and Kaylee Boyle are back, and Kaylin Niewohner, Micah Risch, Emily Lewin, Sidney Fletcher, and Faith Riggle figure to help make up the core of next year's team.

It appears the Trojans will be really young next year so Nicole and Kaylee Boyle will need to step up and lead the team if they haven't been doing so already.

I think Scribner-Snyder can be competitive once again in 2017. Some may say this was the year for the Trojans, but I still think the Trojans can compete at a high level and have more success next year.

It's going to take a lot of hard work from now until August for Scribner-Snyder to have another good season in 2017, but I'm sure these girls will be all for working hard to be successful.
Emerson-Hubbard downs Walthill, loses to GACC in Sub-Districts

The Emerson-Hubbard Pirates beat Walthill 3-0 in the D1-4 Sub-District at Wisner-Pilger Monday night before losing 3-0 to GACC.

The Pirates downed the Blujays 25-22 in set one, 25-20 in set two, and 25-13 in set three.

GACC took care of Emerson-Hubbard 25-13 in set one, 25-15 in set two, and 25-4 in set three.

I thought the Pirates did a good job beating Walthill, but upsetting the Bluejays was a lot to ask.

Emerson-Hubbard ends the year at 5-23.

It was definitely a learning and rebuilding year for the Pirates given how Emerson-Hubbard performed last year.

Wins were few and far between for the Pirates, but I thought Emerson-Hubbard played their best Volleyball at the end of the year.

I feel the Pirates can build off what they did at the end of this year, and carry it into next year.

Emerson-Hubbard graduates five seniors in Skyler Miller, Tiffany Bose, Caleigh Mackling, Madison Bartels, and Amanda Ahlers.

These five seniors will definitely be missed, and their contributions to Pirate Volleyball will not soon be forgotten I'm sure.

Emerson-Hubbard brings back the likes of Emma Haberman, Courtney Bokemper, Taylor Dahm, and Brook Ahlers next year.

I think the Pirates have a chance to be a better team next year than they were this year.

This was a transition and rebuilding year, and teams are generally better in a coach's second season.

Emerson-Hubbard has lots of work to do if they want to get back to the top though.

These girls have to take it upon themselves to get up early during the week in the summer and run, lift, and play the game of Volleyball through camps, open gyms, and even Club Volleyball.

It takes more than just 3 months to build a champion. Volleyball is a sport that takes year round dedication.

These girls are definitely capable of great things in 2017 if they put the work in. That's the key though...this team has to be willing to work.

If the returning players and newcomers have a good offseason, look for good things from the Pirates next season.
Pender's season ends in Sub-District loss to Clarkson/Leigh

The Pender Pendragons saw their year come to an end Monday night as the Pendragons lost 3-0 to Clarkson/Leigh in the D1-4 Sub-District Tournament at Wisner-Pilger.

Pender lost sets one and two 25-23, and dropped set three 27-25.

The Pendragons dropped 10 out of their final 11 matches.

Pender ends the year at 10-20.

A 10-20 finish is not the type of ending the Pendragons were envisioning I'm sure.

Pender didn't beat anyone with a winning record this year.

Only 5 of the Pendragons' 20 losses came to teams with losing records, but three of them came during Pender's last 11 matches.

The Pendragons lose five seniors in Cecilee Jacobsen, Haylie Roberts, Hallie Ballinger, Kamryn Anderson, and Emily Ellis.

Each senior meant so much to this program, and should be proud of their careers.

Rylee Lehmkuhl and Tymaree Krusemark are key returners for Pender.

The Pendragons have to be fueled and motivated by what happened at the end of the season.

Pender has to be upset by how they ended the season. I thought the end to the season definitely could have been better for the Pendragons.

If anything though, it leaves more to be accomplished next season.

I think Pender is capable of having a better season next year, but it's going to take a lot of hard offseason work.

These girls have to be dedicated to improving in the offseason. Getting up early in the morning during the summer for workouts, camps, and open gyms is going to be crucial to next year's success, in my opinion.

The Pendragons have a lot of work to do from now until August so the kids have to get after it as soon as possible.

Volleyball has to matter and be important to these girls. It has to be a priority in their lives if they want to be successful at it.
Clarkson/Leigh goes 1-1 in Sub-Districts; Sees season end

The Clarkson/Leigh Patriots saw their year end on Tuesday as they lost 3-1 to GACC in the D1-4 Sub-District Final at Wisner-Pilger after sweeping Pender 3-0 on Monday.

Clarkson/Leigh downed the Pendragons 25-23 in sets one and two, and took set three 27-25.

Shelby Paprocki had 8 kills and 14 digs while Hannah Kasik totaled 7 kills. Halee Steffensmeier recorded 19 digs while Kaegan Held posted 9 digs and 19 set assists.

The Bluejays defeated the Patriots 25-19 in set one and 25-12 in set two before Clarkson/Leigh won set three 25-22. GACC took set four 25-18.

Paprocki compiled 16 kills and 14 digs while Steffensmeier totaled 15 digs. Held recorded 14 digs and 28 set assists with Cully Cerv contributing 7 digs.

It was a splendid season for the Patriots, in my opinion. I thought Clarkson/Leigh represented themselves, their schools, and communities well this year.

The Patriots wrap up the season at 17-15.

Big wins and highlight matches for Clarkson/Leigh this season were the wins over BRLD, Humphrey St. Francis, Shelby/Rising City, and Twin River (twice).

All of those teams listed finished with records above .500.

All but one of the Patriots' losses came against teams with above .500 records.

Kasik led the team in kills this season with 268 while Paprocki finished with 236. Steffensmeier was the leader in digs with 343 while Paprocki came in second with 340. Held amassed 699 set assists on the year.

Clarkson/Leigh has a lot to be proud of, and should feel good about what they did this season.

The Patriots lose just two seniors in Paprocki and Cerv.

Both will be sorely missed no doubt, but Clarkson/Leigh has to be excited about the future given all who comes back.

The Patriots return Beth Wiese, Sydney Folken, Held, Steffensmeier, Kasik, and Sara McEvoy.

I don't think there's any doubt Clarkson/Leigh will be better next year than they were this year.

I would venture to guess the Patriots will be pretty motivated to work hard in the offseason, and will only grow and improve as Volleyball players and young ladies from now until August.

A lot of these girls play basketball so hopefully the success this team had in Volleyball leads to success in basketball.

These girls are very athletic, and these sophomores are outstanding Volleyball players.

As good as they are though, there's always room for improvement. There's no reason why every single one of these players can't get better in the offseason.

I look for Clarkson/Leigh to come back better than ever in 2017.
Guardian Angels Central Catholic loses Mid-State Conference Tournament Championship to Crofton; wins Sub-District D1-4

The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Bluejays fell 3-0 to Crofton on Thursday at Battle Creek in the Mid-State Conference Tournament Championship before beating Emerson-Hubbard 3-0 on Monday and Clarkson/Leigh 3-1 on Tuesday in the D1-4 Sub-District at Wisner-Pilger.

The Warriors won set one 25-11, set two 25-20, and set three 25-16.

Maddie Knobbe notched 13 kills while Ally Plagge had 8 digs. Kali Stratman dished out 17 set assists.

The Bluejays downed the Pirates 25-13 in the first set, 25-15 in the second set, and 25-13 in the third set.

Knobbe totaled 8 kills and 7 digs while Plagge recorded 11 digs. Stratman registered 23 set assists.

GACC took sets one and two from the Patriots 25-19 and 25-12 before Clarkson/Leigh won set three 25-22. The Bluejays closed out the match with a 25-18 win in set four.

Knobbe posted 22 kills while Plagge chipped in 12 digs. Stratman added 11 digs and 25 set assists while Lisa Gatzemeyer and Allie Knobbe contributed 8 and 7 digs, respectively.

Head Coach Kate Hagemann says her team found a way to win against the Pirates and Patriots, and that's all that matters.

"Yeah I thought we played alright, and this time of year it's just about finding a way to win against really quality opponents. And so we played I thought pretty consistently. We started off a little slow with Clarkson/Leigh, and we didn't pass our best which kind of affected some of the other aspects of our game, but we found a way to win both games so we're really excited about that."

16-10 Guardian Angels Central Catholic meets 25-6 Cedar Bluffs in the D1-2 District Final at North Bend Thursday night.

The Wildcats beat East Butler and Weeping Water 3-0 in the D1-3 Sub-District at Wahoo on Monday.

Hagemann says her squad is well prepared.

"We've played a tough schedule, and we play in an extremely tough conference. So I think we're battle tested. We've had to play at high levels, and we've had to improve, and we've had to step up our game. And I'm excited cause we've played our best volleyball probably these last three weeks, and we hope we can continue that against Cedar Bluffs."

8 of the Bluejays' 10 losses have come to either C-1 or C-2 opponents.

Cedar Bluffs is a solid team, but the Wildcats haven't seen many teams like GACC, and the Bluejays have played a gauntlet of a schedule.

I fully expect GACC to come out and dominate from start to finish.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Bluejays swept Cedar Bluffs.

The Wildcats could certainly be competitive and make things close, but I don't see them beating GACC.

The match could go 4 sets, but I see the Bluejays prevailing in the end.

I think GACC will advance to state and do some damage.

I don't know if the Bluejays will win state, but I think GACC can contend for a title.

The Bluejays have work to do yet on Thursday, but I fully expect GACC to do well and come out on top.

First serve between the Bluejays and Wildcats is set for 7:00 p.m. on 107.9 the Bull. 
Tekamah-Herman falls to Howells-Dodge and BRLD

The Tekamah-Herman Tigers lost 3-1 at home to Howells-Dodge last Thursday night, and at BRLD Tuesday night.

The Jaguars won sets one and two 25-22, and took set four 25-18 after dropping set three 25-20.

The Tigers were led by Liz Dlouhy and Marin Jetensky, who had 27 and 21 kills, respectively.

Tekamah-Herman nabbed set one from the Wolverines 25-23 before losing sets two and three 25-19, and set four 25-15.

Head Coach Becky Rennerfeldt says her team really struggled against the Wolverines.

"We didn't really come to Lyons on Tuesday night ready to play. We played okay our first match, but it wasn't the best I've seen us play this season. And then the next three matches we just really could not serve receive. We did not do a very good job of that, and totally threw off our offense."

14-14 West Point-Beemer and 12-18 Tekamah-Herman meet in Sub-Districts Monday evening.

The Cadets beat Pender 2-1, but lost 2-0 to Howells-Dodge at their home triangular on Tuesday.

The Cadets swept the Tigers 3-0 in the regular season.

Rennerfeldt says it's key for Dlouhy and Jetensky to play well on Monday.

"That would be correct. Yep I mean if our middles are off then we're in trouble, but doesn't really matter what our middles can do if we aren't able to pass the ball. Like on Tuesday when we couldn't serve receive we got to make sure that we get that done. We got to make sure that we are able run our offense so we can do some things, and play really good defense."

I think Tekamah-Herman can win, but the Tigers need an effort like they got against Wisner-Pilger.

Tekamah-Herman clicked on all cylinders in that match, but didn't play as well against Howells-Dodge and BRLD.

The season is on the line for the Tigers so Tekamah-Herman must play with a sense of urgency.

The Tigers need to play with mental and physical toughness, tenacity, fire, pride, passion, and grit.

Tekamah-Herman has to bring their best and play their best match on Monday.

I look for the match to be more competitive than the regular season match between the two teams was.

It's a toss up to me as to who wins and who loses, it just depends on how well Dlouhy and Jetensky play, and which Tigers' team shows up.

The winner will likely play North Bend Central in the Sub-District Final on Tuesday.

I don't know if either Tekamah-Herman or West Point-Beemer can get by NBC, but anything can happen this time of year.

First serve is set for 6:15 p.m. in Oakland on Monday. The match can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.
West Point-Beemer 2-1 in last three matches

The West Point-Beemer Cadets downed Boone Central/Newman Grove 3-2 on the road last Tuesday night before falling 2-0 to Howells-Dodge, but beating Pender 2-1 at their home triangular this past Tuesday night.

The Cadets also lost 2-0 to Stanton, but beat Scribner-Snyder 2-0 at the Scribner-Snyder Triangular on October 11th.

The Cardinals won the first set over West Point-Beemer 25-18 before the Cadets took sets two and three 25-16 and 25-17. BC/NG earned a 25-23 win in set four before West Point-Beemer prevailed in set five with a 15-13 victory.

The Pendragons grabbed set one 26-24 before the Cadets won set two 25-22, and set three 25-16.

The Jaguars downed West Point-Beemer 25-17 in sets one and two.

Head Coach Monica Wiehn says her team has improved over the course of the year.

"I give it to these girls. They've worked hard in practice. They've come out and they wanted to make themselves better since day one. They've pushed each other. And it's just a fighting battle within practice. And then in games they're really pushing each other, and they're enthusiastic about the game, and they've really wanted a winning season this year."

14-14 West Point-Beemer and 12-18 Tekamah-Herman meet in Sub-Districts Monday evening.

The Tigers lost 3-1 at BRLD Tuesday night to end the regular season.

The Cadets swept the Tigers 3-0 in the regular season.

 Wiehn says her team has to control what they can control.

"We just have to play our side of the net. We have to be strong at the net, get across there. And then strong with our swings. And just being consistent moving our feet, talking, and playing our side. That's what we're worried about right now."

This is a very solid and young West Point-Beemer squad. The Cadets have had a nice season, and I think West Point-Beemer has a good chance to be successful and beat Tekamah-Herman on Monday.

North Bend Central is the clear favorite to win this sub-district, but anything can happen, and I think the Cadets can at least reach the sub-district final.

I feel like West Point-Beemer has made good strides this year, and is in a position to have postseason success.

The Tigers have struggled in their last couple of matches and haven't been nearly as consistent as the Cadets, in my opinion.

The whole key to this match though, in my mind, is Tekamah-Herman's Liz Dlouhy and Marin Jetensky.

If those two go off the Tigers may have enough to win, but if West Point-Beemer holds them in check, then I think the Cadets stand a good chance to win.

The postseason is what you live for as a player, coach, and fan.

West Point-Beemer has to have a good game plan, and the players must execute it. The fans also need to be a factor and get behind this team.

First serve is set for 6:15 p.m. in Oakland. The match can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.
Winnebago winless in last two matches

The Winnebago Indians are 0-2 in their last two matches, losing 2-0 to Bloomfield at the Lewis and Clark Conference Tournament on Saturday at Wynot before losing 3-0 at Omaha Christian Academy Thursday night.

The Eagles took set one 25-12, set two 25-16, and set three 25-21.

Head Coach Kayla Herfel says the Eagles were a little too much for her team.

"Omaha Christian has some really well players. They were on their toes the whole time. Their hitters were really good. I feel we played really good defense with them, but obviously they came with a win. But they played really well."

3-27 Logan View and 5-21 Winnebago meet in Sub-Districts in Oakland on Monday.

Logan View lost 2-0 to North Bend Central and Stanton at the North Bend Central Triangular on Tuesday.

The Raiders downed Winnebago 2-1 at the Fort Calhoun Tournament on September 3rd.

Herfel says her team has the potential to win this time around.

"Absolutely. I think we have a chance to beat anybody that we come across. It just depends how our attitudes are on the court. And I hope that we stay positive throughout the match and we'll beat them."

I think the Indians have a shot to win. Jonna Price and Allie Frenchman are two players to watch out for for Winnebago.

The biggest thing for the Indians is to have confidence and believe in themselves.

Winnebago has to play like they practice, and have all their hard work pay off on the court.

These girls have to expect to win, and must play aggressive and smart volleyball.

The Indians have to limit hitting and service errors, and make Logan View execute their offense.

I look for this match to go a good four or five sets. It would surprise me if it was a sweep one way or the other.

The season is on the line for Winnebago, and their play has to reflect that.

The Indians have to show some fight, and do what they can to be successful and win.

Winnebago has to give an all out effort, and leave everything out on the court.

First serve is set for 5:00 p.m. at Oakland-Craig. The winner plays North Bend Central at 7:30.

Monday's match (es) can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.