Neligh-Oakdale picked up its biggest win of the season thus far and advanced to the C2-6 subdistrict final on Tuesday night.
The No. 3 Warriors defeated No. 2 West Holt in straight sets to move into the championship against either No. 1 Creighton or No. 4 Ainsworth.
Neligh-Oakdale won 25-19, 25-23, 25-21.
Coach Hannah Hoefer credited a week of strong practices leading up the subdistrict match as being key to the win.
"A week off without the games can be hard to practice game-like situations, but we had five intense practices leading up to tonight," she said.
Although West Holt held a slight edge serving, the Warriors had a secret weapon in Lindsay Sands. The senior came in all three sets in key times and used strong serving to keep the Warriors on their roll.
"Lindsay had some really strong serves last week in practice, and she showed that she deserved the chance to step in and serve. And she did a great job for us," Hoefer said.
In the first two sets, the Warriors built a considerable lead and were forced to defend it. West Holt battled back to within a point at 24-23 in the second set before Neligh-Oakdale ended the rally attempt. The Huskies also played Neligh-Oakdale close the entire third set.
Finishing has been an issue for the Warriors this season, but Hoefer said her team battled and finished strong.
"That is something we've struggled with this season. We've talked a lot about confidence in the last couple of weeks, and they have a lot of reason to be confident," Hoefer said. "Another goal coming into these games is eliminating the other team's runs, and we did a very good job of that. I credit the tough practices that led to the game-like intensity that we were able to implement into the game tonight."
Nikki Grosserode led the Warriors with 12 kills and 15 digs. Chase Vleck added seven kills and five digs. Natilee Payne put up 14 set assists and had 14 digs. Kristen Snodgrass picked up a team-high 28 digs. Taylor Sehi had four solo blocks in the win while Lindsay Sands had a pair of ace serves.
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