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Northeast NE Volleyball | KTIC Radio

Northeast Nebraska Volleyball

Howells-Dodge looking for good things again in 2017

Team: Howells-Dodge

Mascot: Jaguars

Colors: Green, Black, and Silver

Class: C-2

Head Coach: Neil VanLengen (332-187 career record)

2016 record: 25-7

Returning Starters: 3


The Howells-Dodge Volleyball Team lost quite a bit of talent off last year's 25-7 team. Head Coach Neil VanLengen's Jaguars return three starters. "Returning players we got Erin Prusa (MB 6’0 11 2) coming back, she'll be a big force for us this year. And Macey Kulhanek (OH 5’4 12 3) is a great ball handler, and I think she'll pry do a little hitting this year. She was at libero last year. And Jessi Brester (OH 5’9 11 1) is a returner as well. So we'll kind of lean on those three."

VanLengen says sophomore Alyssa Coufal will be one of the team's setters.

Other notable players include Tonya Brester (OH 11), McKenna Klosen (OH 11), Hannah Bayer (OPP 11), Grace Dvorak (MB 11), Taya VanLengen (OH/L 10), Madyson Cech (MB/RH 10), and Grace Kreikemeier (OH 10).

Howells-Dodge figures to be young and inexperienced, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Jaguars won't be good, in my opinion.

Kulhanek and Prusa should have something to say about how this season goes for Howells-Dodge, and I look for both of them to have outstanding and monster like seasons.

VanLengen says things will be different this year from a personnel standpoint. "We will be very young and inexperienced. We graduated 6 players that started last year. Prusa will move from Opposite to Middle, and Kulhanek may move from Libero to OH. Brester should still be an OH for us, but all other players will be new this year. We had a decent JV team last year, so I am looking for those players to step up to the varsity level, but it could be a steep learning curve moving to the varsity level."

Key losses include Kalli and Samantha Brester. Those players, among others, will definitely be missed, but it's time for a new group and crop of Jaguars to make a name for themselves in Howells-Dodge lore and Volleyball history.

I think this team has a lot of potential, and I think they could actually start off well given their schedule, but the Jaguars will be tested throughout the year there's no doubt about it. Everyone will give Howells-Dodge their best shot without a doubt so the Jaguars are going to have to be ready to rock and roll night in and night out.

This group of Jaguars is going to have to grow up in a hurry to live up to and meet the expectations laid forth by Howells-Dodge teams of the past, in my opinion.

Season Outlook:

Howells-Dodge kicks off their season next Thursday at home against West Point-Beemer. VanLengen says the match doesn't figure to be easy. "We saw them a little bit this summer, and they'll be similar athletically to what they did in the past. They've got some great athletes there, and they're going to hit the ball hard and be aggressive. The new coach you never know...I've met him a couple of times, and I think he's going to do a great job with them. And he'll have them ready to play that's for sure. And that'll be the interesting part. May not know exactly what they're going to be doing, but like I said I know a few of their athletes, and I know they're very good athletes so it's going to be a challenge for us right off the bat."

The Jaguars downed the Cadets on two separate occasions last season.

Things could definitely be different this time around given all the experience West Point-Beemer has back, but it wouldn't surprise me if Howells-Dodge found a way to win.

I think the schedule is light enough in the first half of the season for the Jaguars to find their way and have success.

Things appear to be tougher in the second half of the season for Howells-Dodge, but by then the Jaguars should have their kinks worked out.

I think the East Husker Conference figures to be very interesting this year. You have Stanton and North Bend Central at the top, but it's sort of a toss up after those two and perhaps Humphrey Lindsay/Holy Family, in my opinion.

Howells-Dodge has been a top team in the conference in recent years so it will be interesting to see if the Jaguars can sustain their success in the East Husker Conference Tournament, and make some noise.

Howells-Dodge is in Sub-District C2-4 with Stanton, Wisner-Pilger, Battle Creek, and Lutheran High Northeast.

Very tough Sub-District so we'll see what sort of shape the Jaguars are in by the time the postseason rolls around.

A very good Howells-Dodge team got left home last year and didn't make state so you can bet this year's Jaguars' squad will be out for revenge and redemption.

Howells-Dodge may not have the same veteran experience and leadership they had last year and in years past, but the Jaguars should have a lot of young, raw talent that develops and grows as the season progresses.

I think you could see Howells-Dodge stumble out of the gate a little bit, but the Jaguars should get better and challenge quite a few teams on their schedule.

2017 Howells-Dodge Jaguars Volleyball Schedule:

08/31/17 West Point-Beemer
     09/02 (To Be Determined)        Hartington-Newcastle Quadrangular (4-Team Round Robin) Hartington
09/05/17 Scribner-Snyder                Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
09/05/17 Cedar Bluffs                        Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
     09/09 (To Be Determined)        Howells-Dodge Tournament (4-Team Round Robin) Howells
09/12/17 @ Wakefield
09/14/17 Logan View
09/19/17 @ Lutheran High Northeast
09/26/17 BRLD                                 Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
09/26/17 Wisner-Pilger                         Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
09/28/17 Oakland-Craig
09/30-09/30 (To Be Determined) Clarkson-Leigh Tournament (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Clarkson
10/03/17 @ Stanton
     10/07 (To Be Determined) Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family Tournament (4-Team Round Robin) Humphrey
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined) East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Logan View/Logan View High School
10/17/17 North Bend Central
10/19/17 Tekamah-Herman
10/24/17 Pender                                  Triangular (host: Pender)
10/24/17 West Point-Beemer                  Triangular (host: Pender)
BRLD hoping to shine this season

Team: Bancroft-Rosalie-Lyons-Decatur

Mascot: Wolverines

Colors: Blue and Gold

Class: C-2

Head Coach: Rebecca James

2016 record: 19-15

Returning Starters: 2


The BRLD Volleyball Team looks to build off the success they had last year when the Wolverines went 19-15. Head Coach Rebecca James' team returns two starters. "Returning starters are Vicki Gatzemeyer, and she's an outside hitter, and she has been playing for us all four years. I mean she started not right as a freshman, but into her freshman year she was starting for us. But then she's played right side and outside. So we have her returning, being a leader on the floor, and then also Kelcee Bacon, our libero, our defensive specialist in the back row. She has had experience and will be getting those digs for us."

James says three other seniors likely to contribute are middle hitter Morgan Bonneau, right side setter Tiahna Bonneau, and Sophia Henneman.

Newcomers include Halle Wortman, Kelsey Larsen, and Tori Ostrand.

It's the second year of the co-op between Bancroft Rosalie and Lyons-Decatur Northeast. James says her team has come together as one. "Oh yeah. It's been good for our kids. The girls they've fallen in, and they're just one team. And we don't think oh Lyons or oh you're Bancroft. It's just oh you're a BRLD player. And yeah it really has gone well. It's been a truly smooth transformation I guess of our two schools coming together."

The Wolverines have 25 players on the roster this season.

BRLD figures to have good depth, which should make for better practices and competition among players.

I look for the younger players to push the older players with the seniors and juniors mentoring and bringing along the freshmen and sophomores.

I look for Gatzemeyer to have a big season for the Wolverines this year. She will really need to have a big season, and step up and lead by example with the graduation of Tess Nottlemann (now playing at Nebraska Wesleyan), Kelly Wakeley, and Lexie Bacon.

BRLD lost a lot of great players and talent, there's no denying that, but the Wolverines bring back and welcome some new talent that, in my opinion, is ready to make a name for themselves in this program, and make a mark on this team and program for years to come.

The Wolverines will be relatively young, but I think there's a lot of good young talent on this team waiting to break out and show what they can do.

I look for this BRLD team to play with drive, determination, pride, and hunger every time they take the floor. I think you will see the Wolverines play good team Volleyball throughout the season.

Season Outlook:

BRLD begins their season on August 31st with the Northeast Nebraska Tournament. James says Wisner-Pilger is one of the teams the Wolverines will face. "Wisner has a strong middle and they're always a very defensive team. And so I hope that we are competitive and that we can see what Morgan Bonneau, our new middle, is made out of. And see what the other middle's going to contribute too."

Wakefield is the other team BRLD will face that night.

I think the Wolverines can be a factor in the conference and postseason this year. BRLD may start off a little slow, but look for the Wolverines to hit their stride by the mid part of the season.

BRLD has a stretch of very winnable matches starting in mid-September, and that's when I look for the Wolverines to take off and hit their stride.

I think BRLD could end up somewhere around the .500 mark, or perhaps a few games over. 500.

Regardless of how the regular season goes though, I look for the Wolverines to be a factor in the postseason.

The Wolverines are in Sub-District C2-2 with Oakland-Craig, Homer, Omaha Nation, and Wakefield.

I would say that sub-district is wide open with Homer losing Deja Ford to graduation, and Oakland-Craig's Dacey Nelson being out all season with a torn ACL.

I look for the Wolverines to make a strong postseason push, and perhaps reach a district final.

Given how Sub-Districts are set up it wouldn't surprise me to see BRLD make a District Final, and advance to the state tournament.

There's certainly a ton of work to do between now and the end of October/early November, but I'm sure these girls will be committed to hard work and good play every time they take to the floor whether that be in practice or in a match.

If the Wolverines can improve throughout the season and be playing their best Volleyball at the end of the season don't be surprised if BRLD makes some noise in the postseason.

2017 BRLD Wolverines Volleyball Schedule:

08/31-09/02 (To Be Determined)      NEN Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Wisner/Pender
09/05/17 @ Clarkson/Leigh
09/07-09/09 (To Be Determined)      Wakefield Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Wakefield
09/12/17 Oakland-Craig                      Triangular (host: Oakland-Craig)
09/12/17 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family Triangular (host: Oakland-Craig)
     09/16 (To Be Determined)               Tekamah-Herman Tournament (4-Team Round Robin) Tekamah
09/19/17 Scribner-Snyder
09/21/17 Emerson-Hubbard                       Triangular (host: Emerson-Hubbard)
09/21/17 Winnebago                       Triangular (host: Emerson-Hubbard)
09/26/17 Madison                                       Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
09/26/17 Howells-Dodge                       Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
09/30-09/30 (To Be Determined)       Clarkson-Leigh Tournament (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Clarkson
10/03/17 @ Logan View
10/10/17 North Bend Central
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined)       East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Logan View/Logan View High School
10/17/17 @ Pender
10/24/17 @ Tekamah-Herman
North Bend Central figuring to be a force to be reckoned with again

Team: North Bend Central

Mascot: Tigers

Colors: Orange and Black

Class: C-1

Head Coach: Amy Sterup

2016 record: 28-3 (Lost to Bishop Neumann in the first round of State)

Returning Starters: 5


North Bend Central is expecting big things again this year after going 28-3 and appearing at state last season. Head Coach Amy Sterup says the Tigers return 5 starters. "I have Kristin Lux (6'2, MH SR), Brooke Fredrickson (6'0, OH SR), and Kaitlyn Bjorklund (5'6 Setter SR) that will be back for us as starters, and Hailey Bang (5'6 SR) is going to be my libero, and she was also a starter last year. Oh and I forgot my other returning starter from last year was Lauren Emanuel (6'2 SO, a middle."

The Tigers are experienced and have a lot of height to work with this season. That should make North Bend Central a strong force at the net and in the back row.

Bjorklund ought to work pretty well with Lux, Fredrickson, and Emanuel.

Three 6'2 girls starting...that's a recipe for another state run, in my opinion.

This could definitely be another great season for the Tigers. All the pieces appear to be in place for another fantastic season for North Bend Central.

Kiley Allgood and Megan Ortmeier are a couple of players who could also make a big impact for the Tigers this season.

This is a veteran, senior laden team, and teams like this often make state runs and win state championships.

Four returning senior starters is something to get really excited about, and these girls, coaches, the school, the fans, and the community have to be pumped up about this season.

I look for North Bend Central to put another very good team on the floor this season. I really think the Tigers could be better than they were last year, and figure to be just as good at the very least.

North Bend Central has an excellent winning tradition, and I look for the Tigers to continue their winning ways this season.

I think you will see a hard working, scrappy bunch come to work day in and day out. Players who will give it their all in practice and in games.

Champions are made from December through now it's time for North Bend Central to put all their hard offseason work into action, and have an outstanding season.

Season Outlook:

North Bend Central begins their season on August 31st with the Northeast Nebraska Tournament.

Sterup says the Tigers have been very anxious for this season to start. "We are looking forward to a fun season. Girls have worked hard in the offseason and have been waiting for this year since last year got over. We are working hard a solid 25 points straight through without letting up."

The end of that statement simply means North Bend Central is a team that is working on giving maximum effort at all times and never taking a point or a set off.

The Tigers figure to be one of the favorites in the East Husker Conference. Sterup says the conference features some quality teams though. "Oh yeah it's a tough conference. You have Stanton coming back, who is a returning state champion. And Wisner's always a tough match. Humphrey High and Lindsay Holy Family's always a tough match. Our conference is big and we got some good teams. Howells-Dodge. So it's always a good game when we play a conference team."

Looking at the schedule, I think North Bend Central has a chance to be undefeated heading into the East Husker Conference Tournament.

Stanton is also a very good team, and I look for the Tigers and Mustangs to play a couple of times this year, and have a couple of very good, compelling matches

North Bend Central is in Sub-District C1-6 with Columbus Scotus, Columbus Lakeview, David City, and David City Aquinas.

That Sub-District could prove to be challenging depending on how the two Columbus schools and David City Aquinas are this year.

With that said, I think the experience of winning in the postseason last year could definitely put the Tigers over the hump this year, and allow them to get through sub-districts.

Waiting on the other side could be Malcolm or Lincoln Christian so if North Bend Central gets to a district final beating either of those teams won't be easy either, but the Tigers knocked off the Crusaders last year so North Bend Central is capable of doing it again, or even beating Malcolm should they play them.

With this said, it's important for the Tigers to have an excellent regular season so they can put themselves in a position to get to state with a wildcard should they need it.

The excitement and anticipation for the season can't get here soon enough I'm sure. Look for big things from North Bend Central this season.

2017 North Bend Central Tigers Volleyball Schedule:

08/31-09/02 (To Be Determined)            NEN Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Wisner/Pender
09/05/17 Emerson-Hubbard                     Triangular (host: Pender)
09/05/17 Pender                                     Triangular (host: Pender)
09/07/17 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family
09/09-09/09 (To Be Determined)             North Bend Tournament (4-Team 1-Day Tournament) North Bend
09/12/17 Wisner-Pilger
09/19/17 @ Oakland-Craig
09/21/17 West Point-Beemer
09/23-09/23 (To Be Determined)              David City Tournament (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) David City
09/26/17 @ Twin River
09/28/17 Malcolm
10/05/17 Tekamah-Herman
10/10/17 @ BRLD
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined)       East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Logan View/Logan View High School
10/17/17 @ Howells-Dodge
10/24/17 Stanton                              Triangular (host: Stanton)
10/24/17 Logan View                              Triangular (host: Stanton)
10/26/17 Madison                                      Triangular (host: Madison)
10/26/17 Shelby/Rising City                       Triangular (host: Madison)
Wisner-Pilger looking for another good season

Team: Wisner-Pilger

Mascot: Gators

Colors: Green and White

Class: C-2

Head Coach: Jean Groth (40th season) (757-232 record)

2016 record: 20-12

Returning Starters: 6


Wisner-Pilger looks to get back to top form and have another good season after going 20-12 a season ago.

6 starters return for long time Head Coach Jean Groth, and they are Maci Batenhorst (8 M 12 5.11 3), Lauren Jacobsen (9 S 12 5.10 3), Ashton Meyer (6 OH 12 5.8 2) , Cass Dixon (14 OH 12 5.9 1), and Jordan Wegner (7 M 11 6 2).

Groth says Batenhorst is a player to watch out for. "Maci, hit .206 last year and returns with 267 kills (1/4 of last year’s total number of kills)  She led her team with 74 ace serves. Scored on 26 solo blocks. Maci also is one of  our primary receivers when siding out. Maci has a terminator attitude and is very well equipped to score runs of points at the net or from the service line."

Groth adds Jacobsen is a great player in her own right. "Lauren led the team with 890 set assists, nearly 11 per set. Also led team in solo blocks with 28. Lauren was leading server for her team last season also. Lauren is an extraordinary leader and has excellent ball control skills. She does an amazing job of raising the level of play of everyone around her, while holding the bar at a high level for herself.  She will direct our offense again this season. Her strength of serve will be a huge asset for her team, as well as swinging for points when in the front row."

Groth says Ashton Meyer is a very valuable member of the team. "Ashton is a returning starter, who was a integral part of our primary passers in serve receive. She also is our third leading attacker at the net returning in kills."

Groth says Ariel Meyer will have an expanded role this year. "Ariel will take over some of the setting role in transition to allow Lauren to become a part of our offense."

Groth says Dixon bolsters and strengthens the team. "Cass also returns as an outside attacker. Her strength of serve and ability to cut the ball at the net will add to the depth of this team."

Groth says Wegner is an all around great player. "Jordan is an impact volleyball athlete. She was a Gator her freshman year and then transferred out her sophomore year, she returned last fall, with 9 matches left on the season. During that short stint, she led her team with blocks per set -28 total and averaging .56 per set. She also scored on 174 kills, an average of nearly 4 kills per set. Jordan is a very accomplished high jumper in track and uses her ability to get up in the air to control the net in her area."

Other possible contributors are Emily Hatterman (1 DS 5.4 11), Karrin Jindra (13 M 5.9 10), and
Aspin Waterman (16 OH 5.9 10).

I'm expecting big things out of the Gators this year. Wisner-Pilger certainly has the talent and experience to have a great season. Now it's simply a matter of putting things all together and going out there and getting the job done night in and night out.

Season Outlook:

Wisner-Pilger looks to get back to their dominate ways this season. Groth says the Gators are a hard working and experienced group. "The 2017 Gator Volleyball team has an excellent collective work ethic in this young season. They are committed to being stronger together. The team has 5 seniors that are very experienced on the court and complement one another. Strength of serve and ball control on “in-system” serve receive are focal points early - and I anticipate will become our strength as the season matures."

The Gators are in a tough C2-4 Sub-District with Stanton, Battle Creek, Howells-Dodge, and Lutheran High Northeast.

Wisner-Pilger has a pretty tough and challenging schedule, but I look for the Gators to compete with everyone on the slate.

The Gators should be a very fine team, and I look for them to make a push in the early season, in the conference tournament, and in postseason play.

I think every team will get Wisner-Pilger's best shot with a lot of these girls being seniors and juniors.

This is the final go around for quite a few of these girls, and I fully expect the Gators to go out with a vengeance.

I don't think Wisner-Pilger will go down quietly or softly this season. I feel the Gators will be a team that is never out of a match no matter the situation.

A tough schedule should give Wisner-Pilger a lot of wildcard points and an opportunity to make state if the Gators take care of business.

I view Stanton as Wisner-Pilger's biggest threat to making a district final and the state tournament.

So it's really important for the Gators to do well in the regular season in order to give themselves a chance at a wildcard to go to state should they need it.

State has to be the ultimate goal for Wisner-Pilger, and what a way it would be to go out for these five seniors.

The Gators know what to expect, and should be ready to roll from the onset this year.

Wisner-Pilger has to get off to a fast start and finish even stronger.

The Gators have been very good and consistent over the years, and I look for Wisner-Pilger to have another 20+ win season this year.

All the Gators' hopes and dreams are out there to achieve...Wisner-Pilger just has to have the drive and determination for greatness, and must take the bull by the horns every day when they wake up.

2017 Wisner-Pilger Gators Volleyball Schedule:

08/24/17 Schuyler
08/31-09/02 (To Be Determined)     NEN Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Wisner/Pender
09/05/17 West Point-Beemer
09/12/17 @ North Bend Central
09/19/17 Stanton                                     Triangular (host: Stanton)
09/19/17 Pender                                             Triangular (host: Stanton)
09/21/17 Battle Creek                                        Triangular (host: Crofton)
09/21/17 Crofton                                             Triangular (host: Crofton)
09/23-09/23 (To Be Determined)             Wisner-Pilger September Classic (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Wisner
09/26/17 Madison                                              Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
09/26/17 Howells-Dodge                              Double Triangular (host: Wisner-Pilger)
10/05/17 Lutheran High Northeast              Triangular (host: Guardian Angels Central Catholic)
10/05/17 Guardian Angels Central Catholic     Triangular (host: Guardian Angels Central Catholic)
10/07-10/07 (To Be Determined)               Wisner-Pilger Invite (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Wsiner
10/10/17 Tekamah-Herman
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined)              East Husker Conference (2/3-Day Tournament) Top Seeds/Logan View
10/17/17 @ Twin River
10/19/17 Logan View                                          Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
10/19/17 Scribner-Snyder                       Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
10/24/17 Oakland-Craig
Tekamah-Herman looking for big season with lots of returning experience

Team: Tekamah-Herman

Mascot: Tigers

Colors: Purple and Vegas Gold

Class: C-1

Head Coach: Becky Rennerfeldt (7th Season)

2016 record: 12-19

Returning Starters: 6


Tekamah-Herman returns all but one starter from last year's 12-19 team. Head Coach Becky Rennerfeldt says Liz Dlouhy is a very significant loss, but the Tigers feel confident heading into this season nonetheless. "Yeah Liz Dlouhy she did a lot for us last year. She was our kill leader, and she broke our school record with the most kills in a season. So that'll definitely be big shoes for someone to fill, but we have a lot of experience coming back. Only losing one starter...having the majority of the girls back is definitely going to help."

A key returner is Senior Setter and four-year starter Caty Gross.

Other returning starters include  Marin Jetensky (Senior Middle Hitter 3 year starter), Lucy Green (Senior OH 2 year starter), Julia Feiling (Senior Libero 3 year starter), Anna Wakehouse (Sophomore OH 2 year starter), and Anjolena Hampton (Junior Backrow Specialist 2 year starter).

I look for Jetensky to step up and have an expanded role this season. I think you'll see her shoulder more of the load and take on more of a leadership role with the loss of Dlouhy.

I think Gross and Jetensky will make for a great one two punch.

Dlouhy is a significant loss, there's no doubt about it, but the Tigers have to feel pretty good about themselves heading into this season.

Tekamah-Herman brings back quite a bit of talent and experience, and I'm expecting big things out of the Tigers this year.

The upperclassmen and starters should be ready to rock and roll while mentoring and improving the game of the bench players and underclassmen.

These girls have played this game long enough and been in high school long enough to know what is expected of them.

Everyone should know their roles and what it's going to take to be a successful team.

I think the Tigers' talent and experience will help them prevail in matches they may not win if they were younger or less experienced.

Tekamah-Herman wasn't a bad team last year, but I look for the Tigers to improve their win total this year and win anywhere from 18-20 matches at least, if not more.

The time is now for Tekamah-Herman to win. I fully expect the Tigers to come out of the gate strong and ready to go.

Season Outlook:

Tekamah-Herman kicks off the season on August 31st with the Northeast Nebraska Tournament. Rennerfeldt says the Tigers will see Pender and Wayne in that tournament. "We're going to start our season at Pender playing Pender. They lost some pretty critical hitters on their team last year too and their middle hitter so we'll see how that one goes. And then after that we will play Wayne. So I think both matches are ones that we should be able to compete in and hopefully get a couple W's."

Tekamah-Herman figures to be one of the favorites to win Sub-District C1-4, comprised of the Tigers, West Point-Beemer, Arlington, Fort Calhoun, and Logan View.

I think that Sub-District will come down to Tekamah-Herman and West Point-Beemer. I think the Cadets will be the Tigers' biggest threat and competition.

I also think Tekamah-Herman has a chance to be among the top teams in the East Husker Conference.

If the Tigers can take care of business against the teams they're supposed to beat, and pull off a few upsets, they could have themselves a very fine season.

I think the schedule sets up nicely for Tekamah-Herman to win quite a few matches.

If the Tigers can find a way to start strong, and play their best volleyball at the end of the season...I think Tekamah-Herman will be where they want to be in the end.

The Tigers may go through a slump at some point, but that's with any good or great team.

The most important things for Tekamah-Herman include continuing to fight and persevere, in my opinion.

The Tigers have to give maximum effort at all times regardless of the score and situation.

Tekamah-Herman also has to have fun, and must enjoy playing the game of Volleyball together.

The looser the Tigers can be and the more fun they can have...the better a team they will be, in my opinion.

Being nervous and tight won't do Tekamah-Herman a lot of good although pregame and early game nerves and jitters are to be expected.

The Tigers should be ready to take care of business against the Pendragons come August 31st though. Pender graduated a lot of talent off last year's team and will be breaking in some new faces no doubt. So it's time for Tekamah-Herman to take charge and start the season off on the right foot with a win.

I think this Northeast Nebraska Tournament will be a good early season test for the Tigers. With that said, I think Tekamah-Herman will be able to hold their own against whoever they play in it.

2017 Tekamah-Herman Tigers Volleyball Schedule:

08/31-09/02 (To Be Determined) NEN Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) Wisner/Pender
09/05/17 Logan View                        Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/05/17 Twin River                         Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/09-09/09 (To Be Determined)  Boone Central Invite (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Albion
09/12/17 @ West Point-Beemer  
     09/16 (To Be Determined)          Tekamah-Herman Tournament (4-Team Round Robin) Tekamah
09/19/17 Madison
09/26/17 Oakland-Craig                  Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/26/17 Stanton                                     Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/30-09/30 (To Be Determined)  Raymond Central Invitational (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Raymond Central High School
10/03/17 Pender
10/05/17 @ North Bend Central
10/10/17 @ Wisner-Pilger
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined)  East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) TBD/Logan View High School
10/17/17 Archbishop Bergan                   Triangular (host: Archbishop Bergan)
10/17/17 Scribner-Snyder           Triangular (host: Archbishop Bergan)
10/19/17 @ Howells-Dodge
10/24/17 BRLD
West Point-Beemer returns lots of talent and experience

Team: West Point-Beemer

Mascot: Cadets

Colors: Red and White

Class: C-1

Head Coach: Conley Straight (1st season)

2016 record: 15-15

Returning Starters: N/A


The West Point-Beemer Volleyball Team returns everyone from last year with the exception of Bethany Anderson. 1st year Head Coach Conley Straight says the Cadets are veteran laden. "Yeah we have a lot of talent. We have 6 seniors, 6 juniors. So we have a lot of upperclassmen that are going to bring a lot of leadership to our team. And we're definitely going to be senior led...we're going to rely a lot on our seniors for leadership and production on our team. So I'm really excited especially to work with this team and see where we can go."

Straight says the Cadets will be led by the likes of Katie Pilakowski, Makenna Weddle, Brittney Hinkel, and Lizbeth Inzunza.

Straight is bringing a fast tempo and swing blocking to West Point-Beemer.

He was an assistant coach at Doane for 5 years prior to coming to West Point.

I think West Point-Beemer has a good chance to be successful this season. Basically everyone returns so that should help for continuity purposes.

These girls have to play confidence and toughness every time they take the floor. The Cadets should back down from no one, and expect to win every time they take the floor.

It's never easy to be super successful in a coach's first season, but I feel West Point-Beemer is built to and can win this season.

All the tools are in place for the Cadets to do great it's just a matter of putting things all together.

West Point-Beemer has to work hard in practice everyday and in matches as well. You play how you practice, and so the Cadets have to bring intensity and be focused each and every practice and match.

West Point-Beemer has to play up to their potential and maximize their abilities to have a good season this year.

The Cadets have to believe in themselves and one another, and have the mindset that they are going to win every set and every match the play in. Obviously no one can win every set and every match they play in, but it's important for West Point-Beemer to play with a winner's mentality every time they take the floor.

Season Outlook:

West Point-Beemer is no doubt looking to breakout this season after going .500 last year.

Straight says the Cadets are going to need to perform well in all areas of the game to be successful this season. "Scrappy defense. It's going to take aggressive serving, and solid passing. Like I said, win the serve and serve receive game, then we go from there."

West Point-Beemer kicks off their season on August 31st when they travel to Howells-Dodge to take on the Jaguars. Straight says his players just need to relax and play their game. "I think just going in and having fun and playing. I think a lot of times with the game of Volleyball it's a game of momentum. So I think always just trying to keep the momentum on our side of the net, and continually reminding the girls to have fun and play Volleyball. I think at times with Volleyball players they start to think too much, and that's why I implement a fast they don't have a lot of time to think...they just react and play."

The Cadets went 15-15 a season ago.

The schedule sets up nicely for West Point-Beemer to have a lot of success this season. I really think the Cadets can win 20+ matches if they take care of business against the teams they're supposed to beat.

I think this fast tempo, swing blocking style of Volleyball Straight brings to West Point brings a whole nother aspect to the game of Volleyball.

It will be interesting to see how well teams adjust and adapt to it, and if they can stop and slow the Cadets down in any manner.

I look for West Point-Beemer to be one of the top teams in the East Husker Conference this year. North Bend Central and Stanton are the cream of the crop, in my opinion, but I don't think the Cadets are too far behind.

It should be a successful season for West that could very well result in a trip to the state tournament.

I look for the Cadets to taste quite a bit of winning this season.

I think you will see West Point-Beemer take their program to a whole new level.

I think the time is now for the Cadets to do well and shine.

2017 West Point-Beemer Cadets Volleyball Schedule:

08/31/17 @ Howells-Dodge
09/05/17 @ Wisner-Pilger
09/07/17 Schuyler                                       Triangular (host: Schuyler)
09/07/17 Twin River                       Triangular (host: Schuyler)
09/12/17 Tekamah-Herman
09/14/17 @ Madison C1
09/16-09/16 (To Be Determined) Stanton Tournament (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Stanton
09/19/17 Logan View                                  Triangular (host: Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family)
09/19/17 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family Triangular (host: Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family)
09/21/17 @ North Bend Central
09/26/17 Arlington                                   Triangular (host: Arlington)
09/26/17 Wayne                                           Triangular (host: Arlington)
09/28/17 Norfolk Catholic
10/03/17 Douglas County West                    Triangular (host: Oakland-Craig)
10/03/17 Oakland-Craig                            Triangular (host: Oakland-Craig)
10/07-10/07 (To Be Determined)            Wisner-Pilger Invite (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Wisner
10/10/17 Stanton                                             Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/10/17 Scribner-Snyder                              Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined)               East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) TBD/Logan View High School
10/17/17 Boone Central/Newman Grove
10/24/17 Pender                                              Triangular (host: Pender)
10/24/17 Howells-Dodge                       Triangular (host: Pender)
Scribner-Snyder to field young team this year

Team: Scribner-Snyder

Mascot: Trojans

Colors: Red and White

Class: D-2

Head Coach: Shelly Schulenberg (65-95 career record)

2016 record: 13-18

Returning Starters: 4


The Scribner-Snyder Volleyball team has just two seniors on this year's team in team leaders Kaylee and Nicole Boyle. Head Coach Shelly Schulenberg says the Trojans are going to lean on those two quite a bit on what is a relatively young team. "Yeah starting with our two seniors they're going to be our powerhouse girls. Kaylee's been a four-year starter, Nicole is a three-year starter fighting back from her cancer. We're going to be young...we're going to start some sophomores, maybe even a freshman. Right now our starting lineup is not set in stone obviously we're just starting practice. So we're going to be a young team, but they're working hard."

Other returning letterwinners for Scribner-Snyder include #3 Kaylin Niewohner (JR 5’5” OH 2 year starter), #5 Micah Risch (SO 5’4” S 1st year starter),  Emily Lewin (SO 5’7” MH 2nd year starter),
and Faith Riggle SO 5’10” MH 1st year starter.

Schulenberg says the Trojans had a good offseason, and need to keep improving on offense. "Our goal is to make sure we stay on the offensive side of the ball and be more aggressive with back row attacking. The girls did a great job this summer at our team camps that we attended and they will take those skills into the season."

Another player that figures to see playing time for Scribner-Snyder is #11 Sidney Fletcher (SO 5’3” DS 1st year starter).

This Trojan team is young, there's no secret about that, but it appears Scribner-Snyder has a strong work ethic, and that should pay off over the course of the season and pay dividends down the line.

The Trojans have to keep growing and improving everyday, and be ready to give it their all every time they take the floor.

Things may not always be pretty and perfect for Scribner-Snyder, but if the Trojans keep playing hard and up to their potential, then success will take care of itself.

Success isn't always measured in wins and losses either. Growing as young ladies and teammates is just as important as winning and losing in my book.

Winning is nice, but there's more to high school sports than just winning. Life lessons are taught and learned in high school sports, and I fully expect these ladies to learn a lot over the course of this season.

Season Outlook:

Scribner-Snyder is coming off a successful 13-18 2016 campaign.

Schulenberg says the experience the girls gained last year will help heading into this season. "Yep, you bet. We had some strong hitters during the season, a lot of different scenarios happened for us with some injuries. We had players that had to use different positions. So that made them a better player actually by learning more skills. And we ended the season on a really high note, going 10 sets in our sub-district, that was pretty tough, but they battled hard so that's a good incentive going into this year."

Schulenberg says the Trojans won't have a lot of height this year either.

She adds numerous players were lost off last year's team so this year's veterans and newcomers will need to work well together. "It is always hard to replace your graduating seniors (Savanah Miller, MacKenzy Schreck, MicKayla Furchert, Ronnie Litz) when they all started for several years but the girls will need to develop a strong core with the upcoming players and work hard to have success."

Teamwork, passion, pride, continuity, hard work, determination, grit, mental and physical toughness, fire, and tenacity is what Scribner-Snyder needs to be about this season.

The Trojans have a lot of tough matches against bigger schools on the schedule, but some very winnable matches against teams in classes D-1 or D-2.

I think Scribner-Snyder may struggle early, but I look for this team to get better as the season progresses.

Playing a tough and challenging schedule against teams in larger classes will only help the Trojans come Sub-District time, in my opinion.

A big thing for Scribner-Snyder will be playing with confidence, in my opinion. These girls have to believe and trust in one another, and be ready to give their best effort at all times all season long.

I expect Kaylee and Nicole Boyle to have outstanding seasons from a statistical standpoint. I also look for them to be leaders through their play and on and off the court. That needs to happen for the Trojans to be successful this season, in my opinion.

Scribner-Snyder opens up the season on September 5th with a home triangular against Howells-Dodge and Cedar Bluffs.

2017 Scribner-Snyder Trojans Volleyball Schedule:

09/05/17 Cedar Bluffs                        Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
09/05/17 Howells-Dodge                      Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
09/07/17 Oakland-Craig
09/12/17 Clarkson/Leigh
09/19/17 @ BRLD
09/26/17 Winside
10/05/17 @ Mead
10/10/17 Stanton                                  Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/10/17 West Point-Beemer                  Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/17/17 Tekamah-Herman                  Triangular (host: Archbishop Bergan)
10/17/17 Archbishop Bergan           Triangular (host: Archbishop Bergan)
10/19/17 Logan View                          Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
10/19/17 Wisner-Pilger                          Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
10/24/17 Weeping Water                        Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
10/24/17 Omaha Christian Academy Triangular (host: Scribner-Snyder)
Logan View hoping to be improved in 2017

Team: Logan View

Mascot: Raiders

Colors: Blue and Gold

Class: C-1

Head Coach: Brad Schlegel (1st Season)

2016 record: 3-28

Returning Starters: N/A


The Logan View Volleyball team is looking for better things this season after going 3-28 a year ago. 1st year Head Coach Brad Schlegel says having the services of a star player that missed last year will help out tremendously. "We did lose a young lady named Shaylin Daugherty, who will be a Junior this year. She was out for the whole season last year with a knee injury, and she's a 5'9 middle hitter for us. So it will be really nice to welcome her back this year."

Schlegel says a couple seniors who are 3 or 4 year starters are coming back as well, and they are Jasmine Hanshaw, and Jaycen Timm. Junior Ashley Uhing returns for the Raiders as well.

Schlegel says the girls are more upbeat and in better spirits so far this year. "Yeah I would say that it has definitely felt more positive this year than it did my first year. And some of that is the girls that are coming up, some of that is that freshman class that's coming in. And that sophomore class is kind of making this team a little bit more their own. They feel more a little bit more comfortable speaking out a little bit."

It certainly sounds like things are improved in terms of attitude for Logan View. Hopefully that will lead to more good times and wins for the Raiders.

I really think the future of Logan View Volleyball is bright, but it might take a couple of years for the Raiders to get to where they want to be.

I think the important thing for Logan View is to take baby steps and improve throughout the course of this season. If the Raiders can win more sets, or keep more sets closer than they have in the past, that could pay big dividends down the line.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and certainly Logan View isn't going to become state champions overnight.

This season is really all about building for the future, in my opinion. If Logan View can improve on last year's win total and gain some confidence this season it could pay off big time in the future.

Season Outlook:

Logan View begins the season on August 24th at the Omaha Brownell-Talbot Triangular.

Schlegel says that Triangular will present a difficult and unique challenge. "Yeah that opening triangular will be a good kind of measuring stick as to where we are this year. Brownell-Talbot has also faced some struggles the past couple years, but I think they're a program on the rise as well. So I think that will be a tough match for us. As far as Boys Town I have not seen them a whole lot so I don't know a lot about Boys Town, but I know just with their model they get new bodies coming in all the time, new players. So I can imagine as a coach it would be hard to kind of gel that all together in a short amount of time."

Schlegel says the goal is to win at least 9-10 matches this season.
I think that's a pretty good goal for Logan View. It's not expecting too much or too little out of the girls, in my opinion.

.500 would be a great accomplishment for this team, and given their schedule, it could happen, but it's not going to be easy by any means.

I really think Omaha Brownell-Talbot, Boys Town, Douglas County West, Pender, and Madison are very winnable matches, and the Raiders could pick up a few wins here in there in tournaments. I expect the Raiders to compete well against teams like Tekamah-Herman, Twin River, Scribner-Snyder, and Oakland-Craig, and maybe knock off a couple of those teams.

I really think Logan View could win 8-10 matches if they play up to their full potential. The biggest things are working together and playing as one, in my opinion.

Everyone has to be unselfish and work towards the same common goal...which is togetherness and camaraderie.

The team has to have good cohesiveness and work together well in all aspects of the game.

The Raiders have to care about one another, and put the team before themselves. I look for Daugherty to have a big season. She's going to need to put up big numbers for Logan View to have success, in my opinion.

The Raiders can't afford injuries either. Logan View has to stay healthy throughout the course of the season, yet must give a complete effort on every serve of every set.

2017 Logan View Raiders Volleyball Schedule:

08/24/17 Omaha Brownell Talbot
08/24/17 Boys Town
08/31/17 Douglas County West
09/02-09/02 (To Be Determined) Ft. Calhoun Invite (4-Team 1-Day Tournament) Fort Calhoun
09/05/17 Tekamah-Herman
09/05/17 Twin River
09/12/17 @ Pender
09/14/17 @ Howells-Dodge
     09/16 (To Be Determined) Logan View Booster Club Invite (4-Team Round Robin) Logan View High School
09/19/17 West Point-Beemer
09/19/17 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family
09/23-09/23 (To Be Determined) Louisville Boosters Volleyball Tournament (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Louisville, NE
09/26/17 @ Clarkson/Leigh
09/28/17 Madison
10/03/17 BRLD
10/10/17 Archbishop Bergan
10/10/17 Oakland-Craig
10/12-10/14 (To Be Determined) East Husker Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) TBD/Logan View High School
10/19/17 Scribner-Snyder
10/19/17 Wisner-Pilger
10/24/17 North Bend Central
10/24/17 Stanton
Stanton ready to defend State Title

Team: Stanton

Mascot: Mustangs

Colors: Orange and Black

Class: C-2

Head Coach: Tracy Kuester-Burtwhistle (3rd season) (64-10 record)

2016 record: 31-6 (won state championship over Diller-Odell)

Returning Starters: 5


After winning it all in 2016 the Stanton Volleyball Team appears to be primed and ready to make another run in 2017.

5 starters return for the Mustangs, and they are Bree Burtwistle (10 S/OH  5’9” JR 2), Jessie Brandl (6 OH 5’8” JR 2), Hannah Heppner (14 M 5’11” SR 2) Allie Spence (19 RSH 5’7” SR 1), and Makenna Espinoza 7 S 5’5” JR 1).

Newcomers for Stanton include Battle Creek transfer Liz Christensen  (OH/S 5’9” JR 2). Liz has joined the Mustang team for the 2017 season. Liz was a starter for Battle Creek and earned Top 12 player at the Mid State Conference, and Honorable Mention in Class C2 All State awards. Last season Liz had 344 assists, 44 aces, 187 digs and 101 kills, according to Head Coach Tracy Kuester-Burtwhistle.

Other newcomers include  Reba Waskowiak (13 M 5’10” JR) Jaiden Hartl 4 L/DS 5’7” JR), and Alyna Padilla (17 DS 5’6” SR).

The one key loss figures to be MacKenzie Brandl.

Kuester-Burtwhistlle says Bree Burtwhistle is a key asset to the team. "Bree Burtwistle, JR:  First Team all-conference, First Team all-Area and First Team All-State, Burtwistle put up massive numbers for the Class C-2 State Champion Mustangs in 2016.  Burtwistle recorded 594 assists, 342 kills, 343 digs and 56 aces. Her kills and assists total set single-season school records. Burtwistle also set record for points scored on a serve in a season.  Bree’s knowledge of the game gives her the experience of reading her opponents when setting or attacking the ball. She is an all-around player for the Mustangs who regularly produced during the season double/double or triple/double in stats. Bree demonstrates that defense wins games and does a great job of moving towards the ball, with quickness and reading abilities to keep that ball alive. Her competitiveness, high energy and added calmness to the team will be an exceptional benefit on those close matches to lead us to a victory. "

Kuester-Burtwhistle says Jessie Brandl is equally impressive. "Jessie Brand, JR:  First Team all-conference and First Team All-State, Brandl is also another team member that on a regular basis puts up massive numbers for the 2016 Class C-2 State Championship team. Jessie recorded 317 kills, 265 digs and 33 aces last season.  She also holds the school record in a single season kills in a match at 25. Brandl has that competitive drive that gives the team a sense of urgency when we need plays to occur, if that is an attack or dig. Jess demonstrates her power when she is serving and attacking the ball.  She has excellent court sense awareness that gives her the edge offensively, and ball control skills that set her apart playing defense. A great aspect of Jess is her determination and passion for the game. This will create a drive to win and succeed which will be a key to the team success." 

Kuester-Burtwhistle adds Heppner is a solid player in her own right. "Hannah Heppner, SR:  Hannah as the season progressed last year really built her confidence as a middle on attacking the ball and blocking.  Heppner had 264 Kills with 89 blocks for the season. Hannah was also a great contributor when we need something to happen, we could count on her.  She is also a team member that gives our team balance with her sense of humor."

Kuester-Burtwhistle says Spence is a key contributor as well. "Allie Spence, SR:  Allie’s role is our right-side hitter that we utilize as our “sleeper” at times when we need a big play to happen. Allie had 75 kills last season and we look forward to see her potential this season. She has worked hard alongside the team in off season and look forward to the 2017 Season."

Kuester-Burtwhistle adds Espinoza has grown and improved a lot. "Makenna Espinoza, JR:  Makenna was a player on the team as the season progressed became more decisive in her setting decision and getting the ball to the attacker. She demonstrated that ‘defense’ is a key in winning matches. Makenna had 375 assists and 170 digs this last season. Makenna has worked hard in off season getting to the ball quicker with a balance platform to get that set where it needs to go."

Stanton figures to be very good again this year, and has to be considered a top contender to win state again.

We'll see how the season plays out, but there's no reason to think the Mustangs won't be good and competitive once again in 2017.

Stanton has a lot of firepower at the net and in the back row, and that should help the Mustangs in their quest to win a second consecutive state championship.

With five returning starters and Christensen coming over from Battle Creek...Stanton ought to have some very good depth.

Don't be surprised if the Mustangs are even better this year than last.

Stanton figures to be a very tough team to beat anytime they take the floor.

The Mustangs ought to be a favorite to contend for conference, district, and state championships.

Season Outlook:

The Stanton Mustangs had a perfect ending to 2016, and I'm sure Stanton would like to repeat their efforts in 2017.

Kuester-Burtwhistle says her team ought to be solid yet again. "The 2017 Mustang team will continue to be a competitive team in Class C2. We have a good combination of five returning starters that will give us experience both offensively and defensively this season. We also will add to the line up a varsity player that has transferred to Stanton and two junior players that will only enhance our team."

The East Husker Conference figures to be tough again this year. Kuester-Burtwhistle feels her team is the favorite followed by North Bend Central, Wisner-Pilger, West Point-Beemer, BRLD, Clarkson/Leigh, Twin River, Tekamah-Herman, Oakland-Craig, and Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family.

It will be interesting to see if Howells-Dodge is in the mix for a conference title this year given everyone they lost to graduation.

Looking at the schedule...Wisner-Pilger, Wayne, West Point-Beemer, and North Bend Central all figure to be very tough opponents just to name some.

And that doesn't include all the teams the Mustangs will face in tournaments throughout the course of the season.

Now that Stanton has won a state title you can bet teams will be gunning for them and looking to knock them off at every opportunity. The Mustangs are now the hunted as if they weren't before.

Stanton has to realize and understand that, and be ready to bring their "A" game at all times.

Things may not always be easy and smooth sailing for the Mustangs, but how Stanton responds to tough times and adversity could very well define their season.

The Mustangs were at their best when it mattered most a season ago, and I look for that to be the case once again this year.

Stanton had a dream ending to the year last year, and I'm sure that's what these girls want again this year.

Everything is laid out in front of them...the Class C-2 State Title is the Mustangs' for the taking as far as I'm concerned.

We'll see how 2017 unfolds. Stanton ought to be in Lincoln again come the second weekend of November.

2017 Stanton Mustangs Volleyball Schedule:

08/31/17 Madison Triangular (host: Stanton)
08/31/17 Clarkson/Leigh Triangular (host: Stanton)
09/14/17 Norfolk Catholic Triangular (host: Boone Central/Newman Grove)
09/14/17 Boone Central/Newman Grove Triangular (host: Boone Central/Newman Grove)
09/19/17 Wisner-Pilger Triangular (host: Stanton)
09/19/17 Pender Triangular (host: Stanton)
09/26/17 Oakland-Craig Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/26/17 Tekamah-Herman Triangular (host: Tekamah-Herman)
09/28/17 @ Wayne
10/10/17 Scribner-Snyder Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/10/17 West Point-Beemer Triangular (host: West Point-Beemer)
10/24/17 North Bend Central Triangular (host: Stanton)
10/24/17 Logan View Triangular (host: Stanton)
10/26/17 @ Twin River
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.