Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family earns Class D1 runner-up trophy
LINCOLN — Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family faced an uphill battle from the beginning.
Fremont Bergan showed why it held the top rung on the Class D1 ratings ladder all season long with a dominating performance Saturday over the Bulldogs in the state championship match 25-15, 25-18, 25-14.
Bergan played a schedule of mostly Class C1 and C2 opponents, competed in the Centennial Conference — arguably the best Class C1 league in the state — and emerged from it with a record of 32-4 going into Saturday’s championship.
Bergan’s only losses came to Class C1 state finalist Lincoln Lutheran (twice) and C1 semifinalist Wahoo Neumann (also twice). In fact, the Knights had dropped just 10 sets all year and none to a team outside the Centennial Conference.
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family’s all-stater, 6-2 outside hitter Taya Beller, had trouble getting on track. By the time Bergan led 19-7 in the first set, Beller had recorded just one kill while the Knights had blocked her for points four times.
“I tried to think of more ways to attack it,” Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family coach Cami Oelsligle said. “What’s the solution to this? How can we get around it versus realizing that they’re going to put it back in our face; I mean they’re a good blocking team.”
With the team’s main attacker neutralized, the Bulldogs had a difficult time generating offense.
But they had their moments. Trailing 23-9 in the first set, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family went on a 6-1 run that included a pair of Danie Brandl kills.
“I feel it took the girls a second to process,” Oelsligle said. “But it’s a big stage, big lights, and this is their first time down here”
The Bulldogs were more competitive in the second set. Trailing 19-10, Brooklyn Magsamen’s kill triggered a 5-1 run that included Beller kill on an overpass and a Beller-Magsamen double block.
Later, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family fought off three set points to pull within 24-18, but a Lauren Baker kill on a short set, put the Knights on top 2-0.
The Bulldogs showed great character in the third set and Beller’s kill made the score 16-14. But Bergan closed out the match with a 9-0 run to seal the match.
“For their first time getting here, to get to the championship; I’m pretty proud of them,” Oelsligle said
The Bulldogs will have to say goodbye to four seniors: “Taya Beller leaves a legacy, obviously,” Oelsligle said. “The way Danie Brandl played is a testament to her hard work, Allanah Beller didn’t play, but she’s willing to anything in practice for us and Yasmine Beller did a great job on the outside.”
The Bulldogs end the 2018 campaign with a record of 29-5.
Fremont Bergan defeats Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family
25-15, 25-18, 25-14
HUMPHREY/LINDSAY HOLY FAMILY (29-5) Brooklyn Magsamen 1s, 2d; Jessica Olmer 2k, 3s, 7d; Allie Schneider 5k, 14s, 12d; Yasmine Bender 1d; Taya Beller 8k 1s, 5d, 1b; Danie Brandl 6k, 2d; Kenna Roelle 2s, 1d; Lexi Frauendorfer 1s, 2d; Paige Beller 1k, 1d; Addison Schneider 3k, 1d; Brittney Veik 2s, 1a, 7d.
FREMONT BERGAN (33-4): Allison Dieckmann 2k, 38s, 1a, 4d; Lexie Langley 14k, 1s 3a, 9d, 1b; Haley Kempf 7k, 5d; Allie DeGroff 12k, 1s, 3a, 10d; Lauren Baker 7k, 3d; Emma Walz 1k, 1s; Kaia McIntyre 1a, 10d.