Gebhardt leads Lutheran High to sweep of Elgin Public/Pope John
Lutheran High Northeast opened the curtain on the 2018 season with an impressive sweep Thursday night at home over Elgin Public/Pope John 25-22, 25-11, 25-16.
Both squads traded punches in the first set that saw nine ties and five lead changes.
EP/PJ led 15-10 following a Grace Rittscher kill, but the Eagles reeled off eight of the next 12 points with kills by Matty Boning, Becca Gebhardt and Chloe Spence — along with service aces from Kendra Larsen and Spence — to tie the score at 18.
The teams traded the next eight points; a Boning kill made it 22-22.
The Eagles’ Morgan Holdorf then served out the set as Wolfpack kill attempts went wide, long and into the net.
Lutheran High used that momentum to score the first three points of the second set, which included a Gebhardt kill and ace serve by Boning.
The Eagles led 14-10 when Gebhardt took over with three kills during a five-point run to make it 19-10.
Leading 19-11, Lutheran High scored the final six points to close out the set, which was capped off by a Holdorf kill.
The Wolfpack led 12-11 in the third, but Lutheran High scored the next eight points, four of which ended with kills by Gebhardt.
With the Eagles leading 22-16, a Gebhardt ace serve, a Kendra Rosberg ace block and kill by Grace Bitney ended the match 25-16.
Becca Gebhardt finished the match with 14 kills for Lutheran High and coach Kathy Gebhardt had praise all the way around.
“We were passing, we were digging it and Chloe (Spence) was doing a great job of getting her the ball where she needed it so she could take some good swings,” she said.
Wolfpack coach Tina Thiele-Blecher liked the way her team came out to play in the first set.
“We kind of shocked ourselves that we played as well as we did,” Thiele-Blecher said. “That second set, I feel like we let them get into our heads way too soon, and not a lot a coach could do other than take a time out and tell them to keep working on it.
“Hopefully we can get a little tougher as the season goes.”
Lutheran High is back in action Thursday in Wisner as part of the Northeast Nebraska Volleyball Classic.
Elgin Public/Pope John plays its home opener Thursday against Chambers/Wheeler Central.