Tigers take opening step in D2
LINCOLN — Ewing took its first step toward a hoped-for Class D2 state volleyball title with a four-set win Thursday over Falls City Sacred Heart, 25-19, 17-25, 25-17 and 25-16.
The Tigers won the opening set 25-19, but the Irish came storming back in the second set to even the match played at Lincoln Southeast High School.
“We told the team after the second set to just calm down and play every point one at a time,” Ewing coach Suz Funk said. “We settled in and played much better from there.”
After losing in the D2 finals at last year’s tournament, Ewing is eager to get the bad taste out of its mouth.
“You know when you come down here the teams are great,” Funk said. “It wasn’t necessarily the fact we lost, but how we played that disappointed us.”
The Irish won set two 25-17, but the Tigers responded to take set three by the same score after leading throughout the third.
A Tiana Thramer kill down the line finished off the set, one of 15 kills in the match.
“We knew we had to just take care of our business,” Thramer said. “We know we have to take every point seriously and stay focused to get to the end. If we don’t take the first step, we can’t take the last one.”
In the fourth and final set, the score was tied on five different occasions until the Tigers move ahead halfway through the first-to-25 battle.
Ewing went up 15-12 on a Thramer block and increased the lead to 19-13 when the Irish were called for a net violation.
“It is so exciting to win here at state,” Thramer said. “We have two more game we need to take one point at a time.”
The Tigers won the match with a kill by Brenna Wagner over the Sacred Heart block, and, after a service error by the Tigers, another winner to the Irish side of the court made it 25-16.
In the first set, Ewing was up three points late in the set at 21-18.
Sidney Stallbaum served back-to-back aces to make it 23-18 before a block by Wagner got the Tigers to set point.
After a service error made it 24-19, Ashley Koenig hit a roll-shot kill to finish the set.
Ewing trailed from start to finish in set two but came back after starting the second down by six.
The Tigers clawed back to 15-18 after a tip-kill from Thramer off an Irish block, but Sacred Heart responded with a 7-2 run to even the match.
“We have really concentrated on taking every step here,” Funk said. “Today we took the first.”
Ewing was scheduled to play Wynot on Friday morning in the Class D2 semifinals.
Ewing defeats Falls City Sacred Heart 25-19, 17-25, 25-17 and 25-16.
FALLS CITY SACRED HEART (22-12): Randee Witt 3k, 1b, 1a, 20s, 13d; Lauren Malone 2a, 1s, 13d; Chloe Shock 5k, 1b, 5d; Erison Vonderscmidt 2d; Elizabeth Keithley 5k, 1b; Teresa Morehead 17d; McKenzie Witt 6k, 4d; Rachel Magdanz 2a, 7s, 2d; Ciara Catlin 5k, 1d; Ahren Abel 7k, 1a, 1s, 11d.
EWING (30-2): Brenna Wagner 12k, 1b, 1a, 10d; Tiana Thramer 15k, 2b, 2a, 2d; Elizabeth Nordby 1d; Miranda Summers 4k, 1b, 1a, 42s, 16d; Jaidyn Schindler 1s, 17d; Summer Schroeder 1a, 1s, 7d; Sidney Stallbaum 8k, 4b, 2a, 7d; Ashley Koenig 12k, 4b, 1a, 2s, 15d.