After 12 match points and Niobrara-Verdigre clawing back from a 24-16 deficit, Neligh-Oakdale used a 33-31 win to end its five-match losing streak in dramatic fashion.
"We broke the losing streak," an exhausted Warrior head coach Hannah Hoefer said after the match. "We've had a little traveling, so they're a little exhausted from traveling. But we knew we had to come in tonight. We know this is where we could hit the curves and turn the corner."
After starting the season with two-straight wins, the Neligh-Oakdale Warriors volleyball squad hit a rough patch, losing five straight before breaking through with Thursday's win. The Warriors topped Niobrara/Verdigre in Niobrara in four sets, 25-21, 25-14, 18-25 and 33-31.
After taking the first two sets, the Warriors fell behind in the third set, allowing the Cougars to jump out to a 12-1 lead. Neligh-Oakdale battled back to bring the score to 17-15, but eventually fell 25-18.
Hoefer was impressed with her team's confidence, despite falling behind in the third set.
"The girls had the confidence tonight to work their way out of a deficit," she said. "They didn't hold their heads down, they had team unity and they really pulled together to support eachother."
In the fourth and final set, Neligh-Oakdale took a commanding 24-14 lead, but this time it was Niobrara/Verdigre's turn to claw back, forcing 12 match points before the Warriors pulled off the win.
The extended fourth set was a lot about the Warriors' desire, according to Hoefer.
"It taught us that this team isn't going to roll over," she said. "This isn't a team that's going to lay down and they are going to trust. They're going to fight."
It was a clean sweep for the Warriors, who won C team, JV and varsity. The JV team's only loss of the season was to Niobrara-Verdigre in three sets, so Neligh-Oakdale avenged that loss Thursday and moves to 6-1 on the season.
The Warriors now will get the weekend to regroup before their trip to the Clearwater-Orchard Triangular on Tuesday.