Ranked Bluejays power past Lady Warriors
The Seward Bluejays showed why they have been listed in the Lincoln Journal Star top-10 Class B volleyball rankings nearly all year in a three-set victory over Schuyler on Oct. 4.
The Lady Warriors fell by scores of 25-7, 25-17, and 25-7 as their season record dropped to 3-14 and their losing string hit six matches.
Seward dominated the match at the net recording 44 kills to only 11 for Schuyler. Though the Lady Warriors continued to receive steady play from Rachel Shonka and Kinzie Petersen, they had no answer for Bluejay senior hitters Camryn Opfer and Rebekah Klenke who recorded 14 and 12 kills, respectively.
“Seward had the two good hitters that we just couldn’t seem to stop,” coach Jenna Saalfeld said. “We got a couple of blocks and good touches on block, but that did not slow them down at all.”
Schuyler had a difficult time getting on a roll in all three sets according to Saalfeld.
“We were not able to get into a good rhythm in the first and the third sets. In the second set we did make some good plays. We just never felt like we were in the set even when the score was much closer in the second set.”
Watching her team being dominated by the talented Seward squad, Saalfeld said it is time to get back to the basics.
“We are headed back to the drawing board to see if there are any adjustments we can make to start out strong and use our consistent players right away.”
Leading the Warriors in kills were Shonka with five, Kayli Vavricek with two, and Petersen, Reagan Folda, and Tasha Wolken with one each.
Schuyler had a 90.9 serving percentage on the night and three ace serves, one each belonging to Maria Semerad, Taylor Westerbuhr, and Tamara Witzel.
On the defensive side of the net, Shonka recorded the only block for the Lady Warriors while Anna Rocheford and Shonka recorded ten digs apiece.
Semerad followed with nine digs while Petersen, Cassie Macholan, and Westerbuhr each added five kills to the team total of 50. In the setting department, Westerbuhr led Schuyler Central with four assists while Macholan added three.
“I am hoping the girls come together and are able to be competitive during the last part of our season,” Saalfeld said.
This Thursday and Saturday, the Lady Warriors will be participating in the Central Conference tournament being held in Seward. ′
On Thursday night they will square off against Lexington at 5:00 p.m. then will come right back and do battle with the Lady Vikings from Grand Island Northwest at 6:00 p.m.
On Saturday they will face Holdrege at 2:00 p.m. Following that match, the top six teams will be seeded into the championship rounds.
On Tuesday, October 16th, the Lady Warriors will travel to Madison for a triangular where they will play Madison and Humphrey St. Francis.
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCH