By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Sporting the best record for a Chase County team since 2006, the Lady Longhorn volleyball team is now looking to next year.
A win at McCook in the team’s final season game on Oct. 29 pushed the team’s win column to 20, then a first round win at subdistricts Nov. 4 in North Platte gave Chase County a 21-victory mark.
However, the subdistrict win over Cozad sent them up against top-seeded Ogallala later that night, when Chase County saw its season end with a respectable 21-9 record.
Coach Jodie Schuller, who also bypassed the 300-win mark this year as a head coach at Chase County, said her squad just didn’t have the offense it needed to beat a strong team like Ogallala.
Ogallala went on to beat Gothenburg in the subdistrict finals last Tuesday, and overcame Chadron in Friday’s district finals.
The Lady Indians head to this week’s state tournament in Grand Island as the No. 2 seed in Class C1.
Here’s a recap of last week’s subdistrict games. A season review with stats will be in next week’s issue.
Chase County had one of its better nights on offense in the first round of subdistricts Nov. 4 with a .259 hitting efficiency against Cozad.
Scores were 25-19, 25-21 and 26-24.
Cozad had an 18-14 lead late in the third game, but Chase County rattled off six straight points to go up 20-18. That scoring spree started with a kill from Paige Spady, who then served the next five straight points. Kaycee Bubak had two kills during that run, as Cozad committed three errors.
Cozad pulled back within one, 20-19, but the Lady Longhorns responded with four more points matched by one from Cozad. Chase County now had a 24-20 lead.
Not giving up, Cozad tied the game 24-24 after a couple of Chase County errors and an ace serve.
With Cozad at the serving line, Chase County went up 25-24 on a Makala Bartels kill, then MaKenna Ketter closed out the match with a kill, as Chase County won it, 26-24.
The Lady Longhorns finished with 41 kills and 13 errors, lead by Ketter who racked up 16 kills.
Kristen Jussel, Spady and Bubak each tallied six kills, while Bartels added five.
Cozad had 34 kills in the match, but recorded 19 errors, as they finished at a .152 hitting efficiency.
At the service line, Chase County was 90 percent (67-74) with five aces. Ketter had two of them to lead the team.
Shelby Jaeger led the team on defense with 11 digs.
Chase County’s offense was put to a test against top-seeded Ogallala in second round subdistrict action Nov. 4.
The Lady Longhorns finished in the minus category on hitting efficiency (-.062) as they collected 17 kills, but also had 23 errors.
Ketter was the leader at the net with six kills, far off her mark against Cozad.
Coach Schuller said that Ogallala does a lot of things well, and her team just committed too many errors against a solid team both on offense and defense.
“Once we got going we had some solid blocks against them,” Schuller said, but didn’t respond with the double-digit offensive numbers they needed.
At the serving line, Chase County was 46-48 (96 percent), finishing with two aces, one from Spady and one from Taylin McNair.
Jaeger had nine digs, while Jussel finished with five on defense.
Ogallala had a .258 hitting efficiency in the match on 44 kills and 20 errors.
Season stats and a 2013 wrap-up will be in next week’s issue