By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Last Tuesday’s big win over SPVA rival Hershey still has members of Chase County’s volleyball team and their coach on a high this week.
The team is looking to have that carry over to some important post-season matches next week.
After finishing the regular season at Class B McCook Tuesday this week, the Lady Longhorns will head into the subdistricts on Monday, Nov. 4, in North Platte.
While the official bracket won’t be released until today (Thursday), it appears, based on the NSAA point standings, Chase County will get the #4 seed in the five-team C1-11 tourney.
That will put the Lady Longhorns, 19-8 on Monday, up against Cozad, 7-18, in the first round game Monday.
Chase County met Cozad once earlier this season at the Lexington Tournament, where the Lady Longhorns won in two.
A win in Monday’s opening match sends them into the match against the likely top seed, Ogallala, later Monday night.
Coach Jodie Schuller is not looking past Cozad in the opener, and said Monday her team will be taking one match at a time next week.
“We probably have one of the toughest subdistricts in the state,” Schuller said.
“But, that’s okay. It makes it a challenge for us. We’ll just need to step up our game,” she said.
Schuller said she loves a challenge, and looks forward to the tournament.
If the point standings didn’t shift after matches Tuesday night this week, this is how the seeding will line up (records as of Oct. 28 listed behind team): Ogallala 28-6, Gothenburg 25-4, Hershey 20-4, Chase County 19-8 and Cozad 7-18.
The winner of the C1-11 subdistrict will play the C1-12 winner Nov. 8 in the district final. That winner qualifies for the state tournament in Grand Island.
Big win over Hershey
After dropping a close first game, 25-27, Chase County came back to win the match against the Lady Panthers Oct. 22 by scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-15.
“It was exciting for the girls,” said Schuller.
She acknowledged that Hershey was without one of its key hitters, senior Maegan Hiatt, who had hand surgery after playing in last week’s SPVA Conference Tournament, when Hershey beat Chase County.
Another Hershey player also went out with an ankle sprain in last week’s match.
Even with that, Schuller said her team stepped up in a couple of areas that helped make the difference in the match.
She said her team’s defense was better as they moved around more for the blocks, and two of the team’s hitters, MaKenna Ketter and Kristen Jussel, were in double figures for kills.
Ketter had 14 kills in the match, while Jussel added 13 of the team’s 41 total.
Schuller said she’d like to see more of those doubles.
Unfortunately, the team had too many hitting errors (26), which dropped their hitting efficiency to .093. Hershey had its share of hitting errors, as well, and finished with a .019 hitting efficiency (37 kills, 34 errors).
The Lady Longhorns also missed more serves than Schuller likes to see. They were 90-99 from the line for a 91 percent showing.
Of that total, eight were ace serves, three of them coming from Shelby Jaeger, who also led the team in digs with 10.
Schuller credited the consistent serving from freshman Taylin McNair, who served 12 unanswered points in the second game that took her team from being behind 3-8 to a 15-8 lead. Six kills from her teammates aided that run of serves and points.
McNair also served the first six points in the fourth and final game to put her team up 6-0 en route to the win.
Bridget Langin led the team on set assists with 24, while Kaycee Bubak added 12.
Schuller said, with a tough subdistrict ahead, the team still has things to work on.
But, last Tuesday’s win was a memory-maker, and especially meaningful coming on the last home appearance this season.
“The girls wanted it. It was especially neat for the seniors,” Schuller concluded.