Although early matches in the annual Mid-State Conference Volleyball Tournament did not go the way Boone Central/Newman Grove would have liked, the Cardinals showed their pluck by notching a pair of victories in a consolation triangular in Albion Thursday.
After falling 9-25, 15-25, 25-22, 10-25 to Class C2 #4 Guardian Angels Central Catholic Oct. 27 (details in last week’s Albion News), BC/NG traveled to Battle Creek Tuesday to face the host school in first-round consolation play.
The match was closely contested throughout, but BC/NG could not come up with the big points in key situations, dropping a 22-25, 22-25, 26-24, 20-25 decision.
“It was a hard-fought game against Battle Creek, as it always seems to be against them,” said Cardinal Coach Susan Roberts. “We had opportunities to win each set, but struggled with errors.”
That set up the final round of the tournament, with the first three teams with two losses vieing in a consolation triangular hosted by the highest seed.
Boone Central/Newman Grove thus entertained Hartington Cedar Catholic and O’Neill and opened Thursday’s play with an exciting 23-25, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the HCC Lady Trojans.
“I felt like we bounced back well Thursday,” Roberts praised. “This time, in another tight match, we played with more poise and better ball control. Our attackers changed up their shots to keep the HCC defense off balance and we executed well in all aspects of our game, including a season-high six ace blocks.
“We did a great job of controlling our own errors, making smart plays and having good awareness of what was needed in different situations. We continued with good ball control and steady execution against O’Neill.”
That execution allowed the Cardinals to clip the Eagles in a 25-15, 25-14 sweep. BC/NG improved to 11-17 going into Monday’s C1-8 Sub-District.
Hoping to ride momentum from those consolation victories in the Mid-State Conference Volleyball Tournament last week, Boone Central/Newman Grove ventured to Norfolk High School Monday night for the 2014 Class C1-8 Sub-District tourney.
Entering postseason play with an 11-17 record, the Cardinals were the #4 seed in the five-team sub-district and first faced Madison for a semi-final slot against #1 seed Stanton.
The night got off to a good start as BC/NG pretty much controlled play throughout a 25-19, 25-18, 25-19 sweep of the Dragons.
“We played a good game against Madison, executing well on serve receive and in attacking,” praised Card Coach Susan Roberts. “We knew we needed to have good ball control and push the tempo of the match.”
That set up the tough task of knocking off the Stanton Mustangs to keep BC/NG’s season alive. Stanton had merely put together a 30-1 season to date, including an earlier victory over the Cardinals, and was ranked #4 in Class C1 by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star.
In the end, it proved too tall of an order for Boone Central/Newman Grove, although the Cards showed resolve and went down fighting late in a 10-25, 12-25, 22-25 loss.
“Unfortunately, we had one of our worst serve receive performances of the season. This kept us from really getting into a good flow offensively in the first two sets,” rued Roberts. “We turned things around in the third set and our attack had a more consistent opportunity to get going. We passed better, had more digs and just played more competitively.”
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News