Volleyball notes: Teams with title pedigree headed back to Lincoln; Rankings

The state tournament field is set, so let’s see how it shook out.

Five defending champions return in hopes of repeating. Four schools that finished as runners-up last year also are back, hoping for redemption.

Each class has its distinct qualifying rules for reaching the tourney, and those varying regulations are open to debate. The bottom line is again there will be a very strong field at state.

As always, many deserving teams will be staying home. That list includes Kearney and Millard South (Class A), Waverly and Norris (B), Lincoln Christian and Wahoo Neumann (C-1), South Loup and Wisner-Pilger (C-2), Elgin/Pope John and Overton (D-1) and Giltner and Maywood/Hayes Center (D-2).

Maywood/Hayes Center deserves mention for its 23-6 season. The team was 1-25 last year.

Also coming up short this year were three schools that had lengthy state tourney streaks snapped. Kearney Catholic had been to state 12 straight years, Ogallala 11 and West Point GACC seven.

Nothing is guaranteed each season, and it’s a tribute to the programs that return to state year in and year out. Leading the way in that discussion are Omaha Marian and Papillion-La Vista, who will be making their state-leading 32nd tourney appearances.

Back to try to defend:

Class A: Millard North returns as a No. 7 seed after its wild state tourney ride in 2016. The Mustangs won a five-set semifinal then defeated Papillion-La Vista South in a five-set final, capturing the school’s first volleyball title in almost 30 years.

Class B: Omaha Skutt is the two-time defending champion, and the SkyHawks are seeded No. 1 again this year. Coach Renee Saunders’ squad has eight losses, but four have come against Class A teams and the other four were against out-of-state competition.

Class C-1: Omaha Concordia had a close call regarding a return trip. The Mustangs lost their 13th match of the season against Wahoo Neumann at subdistricts but bounced back to sweep Ogallala in the district final.

Class C-2: Like Concordia, Stanton captured its first state title in 2016. The Mustangs finished strong this year, winning their final eight matches to nail down the No. 4 seed at state.

Class D-1: Johnson-Brock, like Skutt, will be seeking its third straight title. The Eagles are the No. 2 seed behind Meridian (29-2) even though 31-1 Johnson-Brock has defeated the Mustangs twice.

Class D-2: There will be a new champion in this class as Hampton (16-14) isn’t back. The 2016 runner-up, Wynot, also is staying home after losing to Humphrey St. Francis in the district final.

The four runner-up teams that return are Papio South, Grand Island Northwest, Malcolm and Meridian. Class D-1 runner-up Diller-Odell failed to return in part because of a tough schedule that included four matches against Johnson-Brock and two against No. 2 Meridian.

It’s a long season, and it all comes down to this. The three-day state tournament begins Thursday at five sites in Lincoln.

NSAA Volleyball State Championship Brackets

Class D-1 volleyball capsules

BDS EAGLES (26-5)

Coach: Kari Jo Alfs World-Herald rank: 3

Conference: Crossroads

Tournament history: Third appearance, most recent 2013

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Carley Elznic 5-7 Sr. 267 16 66

Regan Alfs 5-11 So. 197 38 17

Jadyn Kleinschmidt 5-4 Jr. 167 32 11

Macy Kamler 5-8 Fr. 93 12 51

Kim Ardissono 5-9 Sr. 69 0 22

Set assists: Kleinschmidt 406, Alfs 290

Digs leader: Megan Grote 375

BERTRAND VIKINGS (20-9)

Co-coaches: Lisa Mason, Kevin Lavene

WH rank: Unranked

Conference: Republican Plains Activities

Tournament history: Eighth appearance, most recent 2015

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Halle Dahlgren 5-7 Sr. 272 53 5

Cassidy Ryan 5-8 Sr. 197 41 5

Lindsay Schutz 5-8 Jr. 145 35 19

Grace Schwarz 5-8 Jr. 104 1 16

Aubree Ackerman 5-7 Sr. 73 31 5

Set assists: Kaitlyn Ryan 734

Digs leader: Jada High 442

BLUE HILL BOBCATS (26-5)

Coach: Kristi Allen WH rank: 4

Conference: Twin Valley

Tournament history: Fifth appearance, most recent 2016

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Rylee Kohmetscher 5-9 Jr. 304 0 47

Kacey Allen 5-5 Jr. 287 45 11

Emily Meyer 5-10 Jr. 146 45 82

Madison Menke 5-6 So. 108 24 14

Jamie Bonifas 5-9 Jr. 70 24 55

Set assists: Bonifas 764

Digs leader: Brianna Danehey 434

CLARKSON-LEIGH PATRIOTS (25-9)

Coach: Becky Schneider WH rank: 5

Conference: East Husker

Tournament history: First appearance

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Sydney Folken 6-0 Sr. 208 0 34

Paige Moore 5-9 Jr. 157 0 2

Bethany Wiese 5-10 Jr. 156 16 1

Ashlynn Novotny 5-10 So. 141 0 10

Hannah Kasik 5-10 Jr. 139 19 10

Set assists: Kaegan Held 694, Sara McEvoy 85

Digs leader: Halee Steffensmeier 371

ELKHORN VALLEY FALCONS (17-11)

Coach: Emily Vaughn WH rank: Unranked

Conference: Niobrara Valley

Tournament history: Fifteenth appearance, most recent 2008

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Hannah Ollendick 5-9 Jr. 240 42 7

Sierra Rystrom 5-10 Jr. 169 29 14

Amber Miller 5-7 Jr. 77 50 2

Brianna Werner 5-6 Sr. 61 35 2

Olivia Nall 5-6 So. 48 12 3

Set assists: Miller 405

Digs leader: Miller 334

HEARTLAND HUSKIES (20-9)

Coach: Sarah Ostmeyer WH rank: 7

Conference: Southern Nebraska

Tournament history: Fifth appearance, most recent 2007; state champion 2006 (C-2)

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Taylor Quiring 5-10 Sr. 388 34 21

Kyra Dick 5-8 Sr. 160 36 42

Kalea Wetjen 6-0 So. 126 16 39

Rhianna Wilhelm 5-10 So. 101 34 21

Sadie Carr 5-6 Sr. 41 27 3

Set assists: Wilhelm 713

Digs leader: Quiring 218

JOHNSON-BROCK EAGLES (31-1)

Coach: Tera Stutheit WH rank: 1

Conference: Pioneer

Tournament history: Eighth appearance, most recent 2016; three-time champion

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Fallon Stutheit 6-1 Jr. 462 61 25

Kaitlynn Simon 5-9 Sr. 261 54 19

Mattie Nichols 5-6 Jr. 131 60 0

Jayse Koehler 5-9 Jr. 73 51 5

Brynn Westenburg 5-7 Sr. 44 29 1

Set assists: Westenburg 883

Digs leader: Nichols 264

MERIDIAN MUSTANGS (29-2)

Coach: Bob VanWesten WH rank: 2

Conference: Crossroads

Tournament history: Sixth appearance, most recent 2016

Ht. Yr. Kills Aces Blks

Rylee Pieper 5-9 Sr. 281 22 12

Halle Pribyl 5-10 So. 256 71 14

Josiee Sobotka 5-6 So. 95 18 3

Lauren DeLord 6-1 Sr. 91 0 53

Hailey Schaefer 5-5 Sr. 85 18 13

Set assists: Erin Johnson 684

Digs leader: Johnson 397

Ratings update

TOP 10, REC., PRV.

1. Omaha Marian, 35-2, 1

2. Omaha Skutt, 32-8, 2

3. Millard North, 25-12, 3

4. Papillion-La Vista, 25-11, 4

5. Lincoln Southwest, 30-3, 5

6. Millard West, 24-7, 6

7. Papillion-LV South, 29-9, 7

8. Omaha Duchesne, 29-5, 8

9. Lincoln Pius X, 25-10, 9

10. Elkhorn South, 25-13, 10

CLASS A

1. Omaha Marian, 35-2, 1

2. Millard North, 25-12, 2

3. Papillion-La Vista, 25-11, 3

4. Lincoln Southwest, 30-3, 4

5. Millard West, 24-7, 5

6. Papillion-LV South, 29-9, 6

7. Lincoln Pius X, 25-10, 7

8. Lincoln Southeast, 24-12, 8

9. Kearney, 23-12, 9

10. Millard South, 22-17, 10

CLASS B

1. Omaha Skutt, 32-8, 1

2. Omaha Duchesne, 29-5, 2

3. Elkhorn South, 25-13, 3

4. Gretna, 21-7, 4

5. Ralston, 24-8, 5

6. Grand Island NW, 28-8, 6

7. Seward, 27-7, 8

8. Bennington, 22-12, 10

9. Waverly, 21-12, 9

10. Norris, 21-13, 7

CLASS C-1

1. Grand Island CC, 31-2, 1

2. Lincoln Lutheran, 29-5, 2

3. Wahoo, 31-2, 3

4. North Bend, 30-1, 4

5. Lincoln Christian, 22-9, 6

6. Malcolm, 28-3, 5

7. St. Paul, 26-7, 7

8. Ord, 27-5, 8

9. Wahoo Neumann, 22-9, 9

10. Omaha Concordia, 21-13, 10

CLASS C-2

1. Hartington CC, 32-0, 1

2. Nebraska Christian, 31-0, 2

3. Stanton, 29-3, 4

4. Fremont Bergan, 25-8, 5

5. Centura, 28-5, 3

6. Superior, 25-4, 6

7. Ponca, 29-5, 8

8. Southern Valley, 26-5, 10

9. Wisner-Pilger, 24-9, 9

10. North Platte St. Pat’s, 23-10, NR

CLASS D-1

1. Johnson-Brock, 31-1, 1

2. Meridian, 29-2, 2

3. BDS, 26-5, 3

4. Blue Hill, 26-5, 5

5. Clarkson/Leigh, 25-9, 8

6. Overton, 27-5, 9

7. Heartland, 20-9, NR

8. Pleasanton, 21-7, 6

9. Ansley-Litchfield, 24-7, 7

10. Elgin/Pope John, 25-6, 4

CLASS D-2

1. Ewing, 27-2, 1

2. Humphrey St. Francis, 25-5, 2

3. Exeter-Milligan, 24-6, 3

4. Hyannis, 29-1, 5

5. Red Cloud, 28-5, 4

6. Mead, 18-9, 6

7. Giltner, 20-9, 7

8. Elwood, 17-13, NR

9. Falls City SH, 18-12, 8

10. Mullen, 17-12, NR

Share:
Comments