HLHF Volleyball survives five-set win over Diller-Odell
LINCOLN - Taya Beller refused to let the Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family volleyball lose in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday in its Class D-1 quarterfinal against Diller-Odell at Lincoln East High School.
Beller and the Bulldogs dropped the first set, won the next two, failed to wrap it up in the fourth but jumped out to a big early lead in the fifth and took the five-set win 19-25, 28-26,25-21, 23-25 and 15-11.
“I’m proud of them for fighting through,” said head coach Cami Oelsligle. “We didn’t play our best game. If you’ve seen us play you know that’s not the best we can do. They fought through it anyway. They persevered, they rallied around each other, we had big player step up and I’m really proud of them for finishing it.”
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family trailed in the first set 17-13 and never climbed out of the hole.
The second set is when the momentum started to turn for the Bulldogs as they led 13-10 early on. It remained close but HLHF held off a late charge for the two-point victory.
The third set saw Diller-Odell take the early 10-5 lead causing Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family to call a timeout. From there, Beller began to take over the match. In the third set she tallied six kills and three blocks.
Allie Schneider closed the set with an ace to give the Bulldogs a 25-21 victory.
On the brink of the win however, Diller-Odell responded with the foruth tied 20-20. The Griffins slammed a kill to the floor for the set win and a deciding final frame.
With it’s back up against the wall, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family came out strong in the fifth taking a 7-1 lead thanks to three kills by Beller and an ace by Schneider.
Diller-Odell stopped the run with a timeout and a 3-0 run of its own forcing a HLFH timeout, but Beller came out of the break with a strong swing to regain the momentum.
The Griffins won six of the next nine and were within 11-10 until Paige Beller and Addison Schneider teamed up for a block and Allie Schneider sent a kill to the floor.
The Griffins responded with a kill to bring the score of the fifth set to 13-11, but it was Taya Beller delivering the final two points on kills to seal the victory for the Bulldogs,
“(Taya Beller) is a special player,” Oelsligle said. “We like to call them ‘gamers,’ because when it comes time to, they step up and they play the game. No matter what it takes they’re going to do. If it takes a tip, hit or a dive she’s going to do it. I’m really proud of her for doing that.”
Oelsigle almost couldn’t contain herself on the sidelines when she saw her top offensive option preparing to take the final two swings.
“When it was going towards her, I was like, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Just put it away and finish it,’ ” Oelsigle said. “She does do a lot of our attacking, so it was fitting that she was the last one to get the ball, put it away and send us over into tomorrow.
After the game, the celebration could be heard near the locker room as fellow students, friends and family went to celebrate with the team after the dramatic victory.
“What we say is, ‘You can celebrate, but you celebrate until your shower and then after your shower we have to go take care of business,’ ” Oelsigle said. It’s business now, they get to celebrate, they get to be happy for a little bit, but ultimately their goal was to come and win today, because they knew they would have a next game tomorrow.”
Blue Hill def. Hastings St. Cecilia 25-17, 25-23, 25-17: Blue Hill made it a perfect 3-0 over St. Cecilia on the season overcoming deficits in all three sets including a 17-11 hole in the third. It’s the second straight trip to the semifinals for the Bobcats who lost in four to Meridian last year.
Stanton def. Battle Creek 25-22, 25-23, 25-17: The No. 1 team in Class C-2 struggled with serve receive early on but had just enough to hold off the Bravettes. Set three was a different story as the Mustangs jumped out to a 13-1 lead.
Superior def. Freeman 25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 25-10: Husker recruit Kalynn Meyer piled up 29 kills as Superior dominated early, gave up a run midway through the third that led to a Freeman win and a fourth set but then scored 10 straight in the fourth for the win. Meyer racked up eight of her 29 kills in the closing set.
Thayer Central vs. Hartington Cedar Catholic
Pleasanton def. Nebraska Christian 25-17, 25-15, 25-16: Kacie Pierce served up five aces for the Bulldogs including on the first two points of the match setting the tone for a Pleasanton win. Katelyn Lindner added 12 kills.
Fremont Bergan def. North Platte St. Pat’s 25-16, 25-20, 25-16: The top-ranked team in Class D-1 trailed early and battled back-and-forth to begin each set but eventually pulled away each time.
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family def. Diller-Odell 19-25, 28-26, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11
Cambridge vs. Johnson-Brock
Ewing def. Falls City Sacred Heart 25-19, 17-25, 25-17, 25-16
Wynot def. Exeter-Milligan 25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 25-22
Bruning/Davenport/Shickley def. Cody-Kilgore 25-15, 25-12, 25-13