By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Coach Jodie Schuller said she and the Lady Longhorn volleyball team are disappointed they didn’t make it to the championship match at Saturday’s SPVA Conference tournament.
Yet, she was proud of how her team came back after a tough semi-finals loss against Hershey to later beat Maxwell in the consolation match.
Chase County was seeded No. 3 in the tournament, so finished where they were supposed to. But Schuller and her team had higher aspirations.
“I really believe we could have played for the championship,” Schuller said.
That didn’t happen, though, as Chase County committed too many errors at the wrong time, Schuller said.
The championship match ended up between top-seeded North Platte St. Pat’s and No. 2 Hershey, and Hershey got the win in straight sets.
Chase County faced Hershey again Tuesday night this week in the Lady Longhorns’ final home appearance this season.
Schuller expected another lively match between the two schools, as Chase County had its sights on stopping the Lady Panthers’ run of 12 consecutive wins. Hershey was 20-3 heading into Tuesday night’s game, while Chase County was at 18-8.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 29, the CCS varsity will play its final regular season match when they travel to McCook, whose varsity is 2-26. McCook’s only two wins have come against winless Lexington. Action starts there at 4 p.m. MT, where C and JV matches will start off the night.
That will be it for the varsity before subdistricts Nov. 4-5 at North Platte High School. CCS has a tough subdistrict again this year that includes Hershey, Ogallala, Gothenburg and Cozad.
On Monday, Oct. 28, Chase County will send a 9-10 team to the Southwest High School tournament in Bartley. See the attached bracket for details.
Here is a recap of last week’s SPVA tournament.
Chase County got by No. 6 seed Kimball in last Thursday’s first round match. Scores were 25-19, 25-14 and 25-16.
Coach Schuller said Kimball, new to the conference this year, “had some tools,” but her team was determined and had a good night of volleyball that included 15 ace serves.
Chase County’s hitters were led by Makala Bartels with nine. Kristen Jussel and Paige Spady each had six, as the team tallied a total of 32 kills, 14 errors and finished with a .200 hitting efficiency.
The team missed just four serves (70-74) for 94 percent. Bridget Langin had four of the aces, while Kaycee Bubak and Shelby Jaeger each had three.
On defense, Jaeger picked up 22 digs and Jussel had 11.
Kimball finished with 21 kills, 14 errors and a .091 hitting efficiency.
It was a battle Saturday afternoon, but Hershey came out on top in the semi-finals, winning in straight sets, 25-20. 25-18 and 26-24.
In the opener, the score was tied at 11-11 and 18-18 before Hershey scored four unanswered to go up 22-18. Chase County took advantage of a Hershey net serve and then put down a kill, but couldn’t catch Hershey who won the first by five.
In the second, Hershey took an early 3-2 lead, then went on a short scoring spree, going up 9-3. All six of those points came on Chase County errors.
The Lady Longhorns had a short run of their own, pulling within two, 9-11, but then got no closer than three points after that, as Hershey won the second game, 25-18.
The third match was a real battle with a tied score 15 times, and Chase County coming back from a three-point deficit late in the game.
Trailing 16-19, Shelby Jaeger served six straight points helped by kills from Ketter and Bartels, an ace serve and a blocked kill attempt.
With a 22-19 Chase County lead, Hershey came back with three kills and scored another on a Chase County error. Another blocked kill attempt by Chase County knotted the score at 23.
Three more Hershey kills, matched by one from Langin ended the game and match at 26-24.
Schuller said Hershey has a good hitting team, but so does Chase County. Ketter really stepped up in this match with 16 kills, Schuller noted, but she needed some help from others.
“We needed a few more to step up,” she said, and to hit the ball more often. While the tip is effective at times, Schuller said they used it too much against Hershey.
Chase County needed to serve more aggressively, too, she said. They did put across four aces in the game, two from Spady, and were 95 percent from the line (60-63).
Hershey had more hitting errors (19) than Chase County, but also tallied more good kills at 41 for a .193 hitting efficiency.
Chase County put down 30 kills with 12 errors, finishing at .150.
Defensively, Jussel had 11 digs and Jaeger, 10.
After splitting the first two games, Chase County stormed back to win the next two and the match against Maxwell in the consolations. Scores were 25-15, 12-25, 25-17 and 25-18.
Jussel led the hitters in this match with 12 of Chase County’s 37 kills. Ketter had nine and Spady finished with six.
With 16 errors, the Lady Longhorns finished with a .175 hitting efficiency.
Maxwell was close on number of kills with 36, but had 21 errors for a .138 hitting efficiency.
At the line, Chase County was 90 percent (79-87), with 10 ace serves, three each from Ketter and Langin.
Leaders on defense were Jaeger with 11 digs and Spady with seven.