By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
It was another tough five-game match for the Lady Longhorn volleyball team Monday night, one that took them to a 16-14 fifth game score.
And while the Lady Longhorns played some good volleyball with an evenly match opponent, they saw their season end at the hands of a fellow SPVA conference team, North Platte St. Pat’s, in the first round of the C2-11 subdistrict tournament in Hershey.
Scores were 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 16-25 and 14-16.
In that fifth and final game, Chase County fell behind early, 0-3, but clawed back to tie it 4-4. It was knotted again at 6-6.
It looked like things were going Chase County’s way after scoring 4 unanswered points and taking a 10-6 lead.
St. Pat’s gained some ground, but Chase County still held a 13-11 lead late in the contest. But, a blocked Chase County hit and an easy tip-in by St. Pat’s tied the game at 13.
Chase County responded with their own tip-in to go up 14-13, with just a point left to win the match. A wayward serve receive by Chase County, though, tied the game 14-14.
Chase County suffered another bad pass as the momentum shifted North Platte’s way, and St. Pat’s finished it off with a kill to win it, 16-14.
“It was a good battle; if we played again we’d probably win it,” said Coach Jodie Schuller Tuesday morning.
That’s a pretty accurate statement.
The two teams met twice earlier this season, and each had a 1-1 record against each other.
“I’m disappointed we lost, but we did some good things in the match,” Schuller said.
Stats were pretty even on kills and hitting efficiency, as well as serving.
The edge went to St. Pat’s, though, on serve receive. Schuller said her team lost that battle.
“We struggled with serve receive and passing at times,” she said.
“We had to pull our setter off the net a bit to go for the ball,” at times, which in turn made her sets to the hitters a little off the mark, Schuller said.
She felt, however, that her team’s serving became more aggressive as the match went on, and was happy to see just 4 serving errors matched by 7 aces.
In a comparison at the net, Chase County had 64 kills in the game, one of the season’s highest, with only 19 errors.
And, as Schuller’s been pushing for all season, three players were in double figures on kills.
Shannon Liewer led the group with 32 kills, followed by Chantal Heathers with 15 and Shayla Dinnel with 11.
In comparison, St. Pat’s tallied 68 kills with 22 errors.
Chase County finished with a .186 hitting efficiency, while St. Pat’s ended with .191.
Monday’s subdistrict match ended the Lady Longhorns’ season with a 15-13 record.
The St. Pat’s win advanced them into the later game Monday against top-seeded Southwest, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class C-2.
Southwest won the match, but St. Pat’s forced them to five games to do it.
In the other semi-final match-up Monday, Perkins County upended Dundy County/Stratton in four games.
Perkins County and Southwest faced off in the subdistrict finals Tuesday night in Hershey. That winner will play in the district finals Friday for a trip to state.