By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Just past the halfway point of the season, Chase County’s varsity volleyball team remains above the .500 mark as it entered this week’s action with a 9-8 record.
The Lady Longhorns finished 2-2 in action the past week, which included matches against two Class B schools, Sidney and Alliance, and a triangular against St. Francis, Kan., and Dundy County.
Starting Tuesday night this week in Grant, the Lady Longhorns will be playing in a series of three triangulars through Oct. 6.
Today (Thursday), the Chase County teams will be at home, hosting a JV/varsity triangular with Maxwell and Sutherland. This week, Maxwell’s varsity has a 6-7 record, while Sutherland is 3-13.
Thursday’s matches start at 5 p.m. The varsity division will be in the Longhorn gym, while the JV teams will compete in the Shorthorn gym, both on the following schedule:
Chase County vs. Maxwell
Maxwell vs. Sutherland
Chase County vs. Sutherland
Next Tuesday, Oct. 6, Chase County will be in North Platte for a triangular with JV and varsity teams from St. Pat’s and Southwest.
Matches start at 4 p.m. MT. On the varsity schedule, Chase County will meet St. Pat’s at 4 p.m. MT, then goes up against Southwest at 5:15 p.m. MT. St. Pat’s and Southwest will meet in the nightcap.
On Monday, St. Pat’s varsity held a 9-2 record, while Southwest was 13-3.
Next Thursday, Oct. 8, the Lady Longhorns will be in Grant for freshman, JV and varsity matches against Perkins County starting at 5:30 p.m. Perkins County varsity was 8-4 this week.
“We should have won this one.”
That was the comment from Coach Jodie Schuller about Chase County’s varsity match last week against Class B Sidney.
A look at the scores indicates how close the match was—25-18, 26-28, 23-25 and 24-26.
But Schuller said some missed serves at key times and a hitting game not quite where it needs to be yet were factors in their loss.
Chase County had a better night on offense with a hitting efficiency of .120 to Sidney’s minus .006, but the 10 missed serves were killers.
“You just can’t miss 10 serves and hit at that percentage and expect to win,” she said.
She said they played well at times, but just weren’t consistent.
The team racked up 42 kills but had 22 errors, Schuller noted. Shannon Liewer led the team with 16 kills.
On defense, Chantal Heather tallied 65 digs and Liewer picked up 46.
At the line, the Lady Longhorns served 89 percent (85 of 95). Lexee Reichert led the scoring with 20 points.
Triangular at St. Francis
Coach Schuller said her team played better at the triangular last Thursday that included teams from Dundy County and St. Francis, Kan.
Chase County won both matches.
It took three to beat St. Francis, 25-20, 16-25 and 25-13.
Schuller said their setters were more consistent in this match, and the hitting improved, but the team was still inconsistent on serves, missing seven (55 of 62) for 88 percent.
After losing the second game, Schuller said she made some changes in the offense, moving Reichert to outside hitter, Karlee Kunnemann to opposite and Shayla Dinnel to middle.
“That seemed to make it flow a lot better,” she said.
Schuller’s also been splitting the setter’s job between Leibbrandt, who plays the front row, and freshman Bethany Sorensen, who sets from the back row.
The team had 28 kills and a hitting efficiency of .105, led by Liewer with 10 kills. Paula Leibbrandt led the scoring with 17 points and two aces.
The team stayed with their altered offense against Dundy County, and won that match in two, 25-13 and 25-14.
The hitting efficiency improved to .169, but wasn’t up to par yet for Schuller, who said it needs to be at .200 or .250.
But, it was good enough to win, helped by fewer missed serves, 44 of 48 for 91 percent. Reichert and Leibbrandt led the scoring with 11 apiece.
Liewer had seven of the team’s 17 kills.
In a varsity-only night of volleyball Friday, Alliance took the win from Chase County in three, 19-25, 20-25 and 20-25.
After a busy week, Schuller said her team looked tired Friday, and the hitting game dropped off a bit. Some of the players were also dealing with sickness, she said.
On serving, Chase County was 55 of 63 for 87 percent. Chantal Heathers led the scoring with 19 points and three ace serves.
The team tallied 28 kills, added with 17 errors, for a .088 hitting efficiency. Reichert led the hitters with 10 kills.
Alliance had 32 kills in the match and a .154 hitting efficiency.
On defense, Heathers had 24 digs, Liewer had 23 and Kunnemann collected 15.