Neligh-Oakdale's coach said she is proud of the way her team played against Niobrara/Verdigre on Thursday.
The Lady Warriors 3-2 loss was a battle that lasted five sets, 27-25, 26-28, 25-11, 19-25 and 15-12.
"They played as a team with passion and heart," Coach Hannah Hoefer said. "They fought for balls on our side that, two games ago, they wouldn't have gave as much effort for. We are definitely taking steps in the right direction as a whole group."
She said all three teams, C team, JV and Varsity, "showed they could work through adversity" when changes were made to last night's game plan.
"The C team setter was ill and we started a new six and switched them to a 5-1 offense, and they did very well with it," Hoefer said. "JV also had a few new players in the line up and switched to a 5-1 offense, but proved they could keep up the intensity and communication to get the wins."
The coach said her Varsity team switched defenses in the middle of set two for better passing coverage.
"And it worked, but only because the girls put in the effort to communicate and trust each other on defense, something we have been struggling with," she said. "We need to work on seeing our opponents court better and being more disciplined in hitting their open zones. Coach Kerkman had been directing them to hit line several times throughout the entire match, and Danae Smith hit a line shot to win the 4th set. We want our hitters staying aggressive at any chance so we will continue to practice hitting tough spots on the courts, even when we are out of system."
"Coach Eymann told the girls after the game matches like this is how we get better, and we need to continue to build on this level of play," Hoefer said. "We've seen it and now we expect to see it every game."
The Lady Warriors will travel to Osmond on Tuesday to play in a triangular against Osmond and Clearwater-Orchard.