By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Coach Jodie Schuller says her varsity volleyball team could use some extra sleep after a string of five matches in five days last week, and four more contests in a four-day span this week.
After a 2-3 finish in play last week, there are four matches on the docket that started Tuesday this week, and continue tonight (Thursday) and Friday.
She said the busy varsity schedule has taken its toll.
By the time they got to the third match of the McCook tournament Saturday, Schuller said her team just ran out of gas.
But, despite the tiring schedule, Schuller said this week she’s seeing improvement in her team’s play and they have more confidence on the floor.
“But, we need some sleep,” she smiled, and included herself in that group.
After this week’s four matches, the Chase County varsity schedule contains three straight triangulars over the next week starting Sept. 29.
After last week’s action, the varsity record stood at 7-6.
Tight match at Holyoke
Though they didn’t play the best in their match at Holyoke, Coach Schuller gave the Lady Longhorns credit for their comeback and “never quit” attitude in the match on-the-road Sept. 15.
After dropping the first two in the five-game match, Chase County won the next two, forcing a fifth game.
Scores were 25-27, 18-25, 25-14, 25-21 and 8-15.
“We looked a little tired and a little flat,” Schuller said of her team.
“But it was great to see the comeback. That’s hard to do after losing the first two,” she said.
Unfortunately in the fifth game, Chase County lost the game themselves as they committed 11 errors, giving Holyoke 11 of their winning 15 points.
Chase County had 29 kills in the match led by Lexee Reichert’s 11. Shayla Dinnel had eight kills and Shannon Liewer, seven.
The team was 94 percent at the serving line, making 93 of 98. Liewer led the point-getters with 25, including three of the team’s eight ace serves.
goes down in three
Chase County was back home last Thursday for an in-county match against the Wauneta/Palisade Lady Broncos.
Chase County won in three straight, 25-20, 25-13 and 25-21.
“We looked a lot better last Thursday,” Schuller said. “We just did a lot of things well.”
Like their serving.
The Lady Longhorns punched over 69 of 73 serves for a 94 percent mark. The team also scored seven aces, four coming from Chantal Heathers who also led the scoring with 25 points.
Chase County was also the better team at the net, picking up 27 kills compared to five from the Lady Broncos.
But, the Lady Longhorns also committed 21 hitting errors, dropping their hitting efficiency to .050, not where Schuller likes to see it.
Liewer led the team on kills with 13. Lexee Reichert added five.
Team is 1-2 at McCook tourney
Chase County had a strong start at Saturday’s McCook tournament, where they finished fourth. In tournaments like this, match winners are determined by the best two out of three games.
The Lady Longhorns beat Southwest in the opener in straight sets, 25-19 and 25-17, tallying their best hitting performance so far this season.
Chase County had 19 kills with just four errors at the net for a .242 hitting efficiency, with a balanced attack from its hitters.
“That’s where we like to see it, that’s where it needs to be,” Schuller said. “We just really looked good.”
Liewer had six kills, while Reichert and Dinnel had five apiece.
On serves, Chase County was 49 of 52 for 94 percent. Heathers and Karlee Kunnemann led the scoring with 12 apiece.
Defensively, Heathers had 23 digs and Liewer collected 18.
Schuller said Southwest committed a lot of errors in the match helping out her team, but it was one of their best outings this season.
Chase County will get another chance against Southwest later this season when they meet in a triangular Oct. 6.
The Lady Longhorns didn’t fare as well in the next two matches at McCook, losing to Alliance and then to McCook.
Against Alliance, Chase County lost in two very close games, 22-25 and 22-25.
It was back-and-forth in both games, with the score knotted several times and each team having not much more than a point or two lead until Alliance surged ahead at the end.
Schuller said errors by her team came at crucial times when Chase County had the momentum.
“We just can’t do that,” she said.
Chase County had the better mark on kills with 21 and a hitting efficiency of .137 after committing 11 errors. Alliance had 22 kills, but also had 22 errors, putting their hitting efficiency at zero.
Liewer and Dinnel led the Chase County hitters with nine and six, respectively.
Chase County missed just two serves, 44 of 46, for 95 percent, led by Reichert and Heathers, who scored 12 and 11 points.
On defense, Heathers had 27 digs and Liewer picked up 17.
Chase County will get another chance at Alliance this Friday, when the Lady Longhorns host them for a match here.
Against McCook in the consolation game, Schuller said her team just ran out of gas, losing 12-25 and 20-25.
Chase County had no luck at the net. While 12 kills were recorded, it was offset by 13 errors for a minus .015 hitting efficiency. Liewer had five kills, while Dinnel added four.
McCook had 21 kills, with 16 errors, for a .085 mark.
Chase County was 26 of 31 on serves (84 percent). Liewer had eight points to lead the team.
On defense, Dinnel and Liewer had 19 digs, and Kunnemann recorded 16.
Busy week coming
The Lady Longhorns will travel to St. Francis, Kan., today (Thursday) for a triangular that also includes Dundy County.
Matches start at 3 p.m. MT, and include varsity, JV and ninth grade divisions.
On Friday, Chase County will host Alliance for a varsity rematch here. Friday’s match is varsity only and starts at 4 p.m. in the Longhorn gym. Alliance goes onto a tournament in Holdrege after their varsity match here.
Then on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Lady Longhorns are back on the road to Grant for a triangular with Perkins County and Gothenburg, starting at 5 p.m.
Ogallala is listed on the schedule as being at Tuesday’s triangular, but Ogallala dropped the matches from their schedule after the triangular was scheduled.
That triangular includes both varsity and JV divisions.
On down the road, the Lady Longhorns will host a triangular next Thursday, Oct. 1, that will include Maxwell and Sutherland, both SPVA schools.