After dropping four consecutive sets coming into the match, the Elkhorn Valley volleyball team surged past North Central, 3-1, Thursday.
The Lady Falcons dropped the first set, 25-21, before winning the next three sets, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-18.
Olivia Nall led the team with 11 kills and 21 digs for a double-double. Hannah Ollendick recorded eight kills, five aces and 20 digs, Sierra Rystrom had a team-high 13 kills and three blocks, Haley Fleetwood accounted for seven aces and 14 digs and Amber Miller tallied three aces, three kills, 13 digs and 34 assists.
Elkhorn Valley (7-3) hosts Plainview Tuesday.
Trailing 2-1, the Elgin Public/Pope John volleyball team rallied to defeat Creighton in five sets Thursday.
The Lady Wolfpack captured the first set, 25-17, before dropping the next two sets, 27-25 and 25-18.
EPPJ tied the match at two sets a piece with a 25-20 fourth-set victory.
In the fifth set, the Lady Wolfpack surged past the Lady Bulldogs, 15-8, to win the match.
Kaylee Martinsen had a big day for EPPJ, collecting a match-high 21 kills and six aces, to go along with five blocks and 18 digs. Kirsten Krebs recorded 12 kills, four blocks and 10 digs, Kayce Kallhoff accounted 10 kills, six blocks and 15 digs, Grace Rittscher tallied a team-high 34 digs, Anna Heilhecker added 30 digs and Allyson Wemhoff had a double-double with 11 digs and 41 assists.
Elgin Public/Pope John (5-5) travels to Cedar Rapids for a tri-match Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m.
A 32-0 hole in the first quarter was too much for the Elgin Public/Pope John football team to overcome, as the Wolfpack fell to Central Valley, 72-22, Thursday.
The Cougars took the early momentum by jumping out to a big first-quarter lead.
Two touchdowns in the second quarter and one in the third was all EPPJ mustered offensively, as the Wolfpack was held to just 171 yards of total offense.
Conor Ramold led EPPJ with 75 yards on the ground. Cory Romej rushed for a TD, while Hunter Reestman completed four passes for 67 yards and a TD pass to R.J. Lierman. Lierman also recorded a pic-six with a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Elgin Public/Pope John (1-2) looks to bounce back Friday against Plainview at 7 p.m.
In the Clearwater/Orchard football team's first game since its loss to Creighton, the Cyclones cruised to a 58-6 victory over West Holt Thursday at Clearwater.
"It wasn't the prettiest game really," said OC mentor Jeff Shabram. "We wanted to work on some different things and I thought that was a positive for us."
The Cyclones were dominant in all facets of the game. OC outgained the Huskies, 463 yards to 117 yards.
"At first we kind of got off to a slow start," senior Jacob Long stated. "We decided to ramp it up a little bit. In the second half, we came out and started playing better. It worked out how we wanted this game to go."
OC opened the game by blocking West Holt's punt on its first drive. It took one play for Eli Macke to find the end zone on an 18-yard run.
On the ensuing Husky punt, Blake Hoke appeared to spring free for a touchdown, but a penalty negated the score and the Cyclones later punted.
Penalties continued to plague OC in its next drive, but the Cyclones stilled scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Chris Kester to Long.
The Green and Black opened things up in the second quarter. Two Long TD receptions, a Macke scoring run and a sack by Donnie Nolze in the end zone for a safety, gave OC a 36-0 advantage heading into the break.
"We had some early penalties that brought some scores back," Shabram recalled. "We settled in and realized the goal we want to do for each series and each possession. They played hard and did well. The blockers up front did well and the runners ran hard."
At halftime, the Cyclones had outgained the Huskies, 332-44.
"We had some big plays and big chunk yardage plays in the first half," Shabram continued. "We made some nice plays in the passing game and run plays were nice too. You want to start fast and keep going fast. That's what we're going to keep working on each week."
Long did most of the work on OC's opening drive of the third quarter. The senior running back rushed for 64 yards on the drive and wrapped things up with a seven-yard scoring run.
Following a fumble recovery by Codey Snider on West Holt's first drive of the third, Austin Pokorny scored on an one-yard touchdown plunge to extend the Cyclones' lead to 58-0.
The Huskies broke the goose egg in the scoring column midway through the fourth. On a fourth-and-long, Jakeem Brown found a wide-open Nate Wallinger, who ran 53-yards for a score.
The two squads exchanged fumbles to end the game as the Cyclones kept West Holt winless on the year.
Long led the way for OC with more than 200 yards of total offense and four TDs. Macke rushed for 123 yards and three scores and Kester threw for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's a great way for our team to keep building on top of each other," Long said. "I took what I got and kept running with it. We have so many kids that can do it on any given night and tonight was my night."
The Cyclone defense gave up just 64 yards on the ground to the Huskies, recovered two fumbles and blocked a punt.
"We've been working on defense a lot because of the Creighton game," Long added. "We knew we needed to get a lot of work done. That's why we came out here and played the way we did today, because of all the work we put in."
West Holt (0-3) travels to Ainsworth Thursday at 7 p.m.
Clearwater/Orchard (2-1) heads to Greenley to face Central Valley Friday at 7 p.m.
"We need to fix some mistakes penalties wise and scheme wise," Shabram concluded. "We start district play and know we're playing every week. This is district time and hopefully these guys grasp and seize that moment and play every play like it's their last."
Strong serving at the right time helped the Neligh-Oakdale volleyball team to pick up a road victory on Tuesday night.
Neligh-Oakdale defeated Randolph 25-23, 25-22, 17-25, 25-14. The Warriors move 6-1 with the win and are sixth in power points in Class D1. It was the first time Neligh-Oakdale defeated a Randolph team since 2012.
Senior Haley Kerkman put down seven aces, including four straight the first time she served on the night. The Warriors were down 5-0 to start the first set. Kerkman aced her first four serves to knot the score at 5-all. Randolph jumped ahead and stayed a point or two in front of Warriors nearly the entire first set.
Randolph was up 23-21 when a Cardinal service error followed by a Kerkman kill tied the set at 23-all. Randolph looked to pull back ahead when Kerkman hit a long ball to the backrow, but the Cardinals were called for a touch, giving Neligh-Oakdale the late 24-23 lead. Randolph called a timeout just as Claire Whitesel was about to serve set point. After the short break, Whitesel sent a perfect serve over the net to set up one of the better volleys from the Cardinals. Senior libero Kristen Snodgrass popped up the dig to Whitesel who found Kerkman for her one of nine kills — this time across the court into the deep left corner for the set point.
Kerkman and Shelby Pitzer led the Warriors with nine kills each. Kerkman added seven digs, seven ace serves and seven set assists. Pitzer added seven digs and five set assists. Whitesel had 10 digs, six set assists and four aces, while Kristen Snodgrass picked up 19 digs.
Neligh-Oakdale: Paige Furstenau 4k, 6d, 2sa; Trinity Kurpgeweit 3k, 2a, 10d, 2sa; Brooke Frey 1k, 1a; Shelby Pitzer 9k, 5a, 7d; Haley Kerkman 9k, 7a, 7d, 7sa; Emma Boggs 1k, 1d; Claire Whitesel 1k, 4a, 10d, 6sa; Kristen Snodgrass 1k, 1a, 19d, 6sa.
The Clearwater/Orchard volleyball team got back on track Tuesday in a big three-set victory over Creighton.
"We are beyond proud of the girls will to win tonight," said OC coach Sierra Summers. "They came out competitive and never gave up. They worked hard in all aspects of the game."
The Lady Cyclone opened the match with a hard-fought 25-22 win in set one.
OC took an all important 2-0 lead with a 25-17 triumph in set two.
The Lady Bulldogs did not give up and battled in the third set, but came up short as the Lady Cyclones won the set, 26-24, and the match.
Creighton's Ashtyn Fritz had a team-best eight kills and 10 digs to go along with an ace and a block. Maycee Zimmerer collected 15 assists, six digs and two kills, Kirsten Adams accumulated seven kills, and four blocks and Clarissa Becker accounted for an ace and eight digs.
OC was led by JoCee Johnston with eight kills and 10 blocks. Katie Stearns tallied four kills, two aces and 11 digs, Avery Cheatum had five kills, two aces and seven digs, Taylor Sanne had 12 digs and Julian Tuttle recorded a double-double with 13 digs and 16 assists.
Creighton (4-2) hosts Elgin Public/Pope John Thursday.
Clearwater/Orchard (4-6) competes at the Stuart Tournament Saturday at 9 a.m.
"(We are) Looking forward to continuing the energy and fast paced game play into the weekend and the rest of the season," Summers concluded.
A solid team performance propelled the Elkhorn Valley girls golf team to a 219-264 triumph over Stanton Tuesday at Antelope County Country Club.
Journey Werner led the Lady Falcons with a team-low 50. Kim Frey shot a 52, Erica Brown recorded a 57, Angel Qualset had a 60 and Kristi Nierodzik tallied a 65.
Elkhorn Valley hits the links Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Plainview Invitational.
Monday's Neligh-Oakdale cross country invite featured several top runners from the area and they did not disappoint the crowd at the Antelope County Country Club.
"It's really nice," said Neligh-Oakdale senior Cole Beltiz on the community support at Monday's race. "We only have one meet here (in Neligh) and when we do have it, the volleyball team and football team come out. A lot of the staff are working the race and cheering us on. You notice as you go through the race, they (the fans) make tunnels here and there. You notice you speed up and that's good and bad, because you don't want to kill yourself. It's nice having a bunch of people out here, cheering for you and it makes the race go a little faster."
The dynamic Warrior duo of Belitz and Emma Bixler won the boys and girls races, respectively.
"They both ran extremely well," stated Neligh-Oakdale mentor Rick Eickholt. "It's due in part to what they put in over the summer. They both did a lot of work over the summer and it's showing right now. Both Cole and Emma were able to finish in front of a couple of runners they had never previously beaten. That's due in large part to the amount of work they did in the offseason and the work they continue to do now."
Neligh-Oakdale's boys team placed third with 40 points, followed by Elkhorn Valley with 77 team points. Osmond won the boys team title with 26 points and the Boyd County girls team recorded a perfect score to win the girls' crown.
Emma Bixler opened the day by winning the girls race with a time 0f 20:00.
"It's more special because I feel like I am representing this whole town and everybody in the town that supports cross country," Emma Bixler said on winning the home invite. "It's nice to show that Neligh means business and knows what they are doing."
The junior runner ran a very methodical race to claim the top honors.
"I made sure I was right next to the girl that was in second the whole first half of the race," Emma Bixler added. "I knew if I lost sight of her, I would lose sight of first place and would be discouraged to pick it up at the end. When I eventually passed her, I knew I couldn't let her get me or else I would have a problem sprinting at the end."
Hailey Bixler finished 12th with a time of 24:56 and Sydney Olson was 17th with a time of 28:50.
Niobrara/Verdigre's Andrea Sucha was ninth for the Lady Cougars.
The boys race was more contested. Elkhorn Valley sophomore Hunter Bennett took the early lead, but Belitz slowly made his move.
"The last few meets I didn't start out that fast and Hunter (Bennett) started off pretty quick," Belitz recalled. "You don't want to get too far behind, so I had to start off a little faster than I would've liked. He definitely pushed me throughout the entire race. That last 1,000 (meters) I was closing in and I was pretty close. I gave it everything I had left and maybe I had a little bit more left, but he wasn't too far behind. It was a good race."
The senior Warrior finally passed Bennett to claim first and a new school record with a time of 16:37, followed by the sophomore Falcon with a time of 16:42.
"Finishing second was pretty good and it was a good race between me and Cole (Belitz)," Bennett noted. "I can't wait to see him again and I think it will be closer next time."
Medalist for Neligh-Oakdale included Griffin Claussen in 10th (18:26), Christian Carothers in 13th (18:49), Ashton Higgins in 16th (19:00) and Cameron Wilkinson in 19th (19:03).
Brandon Evans (19:01), Damien Smith (19:02) and Reed Bennett (19:10) each medaled for Elkhorn Valley.
"The boys' times were really good," said Elkhorn Valley coach Janet Rood. "I think we all started out a little too fast in our mile times and we were running out of gas by the end of the race."
Both Neligh-Oakdale and Elkhorn Valley travel to the O'Neill Invitational Friday.
"They did well today and all ran well," concluded Rood. "I think we're going to continue to improve and I look forward to Friday's meet in O'Neill. I think we'll have a good showing there."
Barely a month into the season and the Elkhorn Valley girls golf team has had a busy start to the 2018 campaign.
Last week the Lady Falcons took third in a tri-match against Battle Creek and Wayne.
Elkhorn Valley had a 272 team score led by Kim Frey's 62. Erica Brown shot a 63, Angel Qualset recorded a 69, Kristi Neirodzik scored a 77 and Journey Werner had a 78.
The Lady Falcons placed seventh at the Pierce Invite with a 516 team score. Werner placed 20th to lead Elkhorn Valley with a 118. Frey shot a 131, followed by Brown's 132, Qualset's 135 and Neirodzik's 160.
With a 532 team score, the Lady Falcons placed sixth at the West Holt Invite.
Brown was 25th with a 130, followed by Qualset in 29th with a 133, Frey was 32nd with a 134, Neirodzik placed 34th with a 135 and Werner finished 44th with a 156.
At the Wayne Invite, Frey shot a team-low 119. Brown recorded a 138, Neirodzik scored a 146, Qualset had a 149 and Werner tallied a 152.
Elkhorn Valley returns to action Friday at the Plainview Invite.
The Elgin Public/Pope John and Elkhorn Valley volleyball teams competed at the Howells-Dodge tournament and both teams went 1-2 Saturday.
The two Antelope County squads faced off in their second match of the day and it was the Lady Wolfpack coming away with a two-set victory, 25-17 and 25-23.
The Lady Falcons opened the day with a two-set win over Howells-Dodge, 25-20 and 25-15, before falling to EPPJ and Shelby-Rising City in two sets each.
After falling to Howells-Dodge to start the day, the Lady Wolfpack bounced back to defeat Elkhorn Valley, but ended the day with a three-set loss to Shelby-Rising City, 23-25, 25-16 and 25-20.
In the three matches, Kaylee Martinsen led EPPJ with 16 kills, two aces, 11 blocks and 20 digs. Ally Wemhoff accumulated 23 digs and 54 assists, Kayce Kallhoff had 11 kills, four blocks and two aces, Grace Rittscher accounted for 23 digs, Ally Selting pitched in 23 digs and Anna Heilhecker tallied 40 digs.
For the Lady Falcons, Hannah Ollendick recorded 18 kills and 30 digs, Sierra Rystrom contributed 15 kills and two blocks, Haley Fleetwood had four aces and 24 digs, Kaylee Bacon blocked four attack attempts, Olivia Nall accumulated 37 digs and Amber Miller added 35 digs and 23 assists.
Elgin Public/Pope John (4-5) travels to Creighton Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Elkhorn Valley (6-3) hosts North Central Thursday.
A sluggish start by the Elgin Public/Pope John football team cost the Wolfpack in Friday's 46-16 defeat to Chambers/Wheeler Central.
The Renegades claimed a 32-0 lead after the first three quarters of play.
The Wolfpack found the end zone twice in the final stanza, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
EPPJ turned the ball over four times in its first loss of the season.
Hunter Reestman led the Wolfpack with 91 yards of total offense and two rushing touchdowns. Conor Ramold and Kyle Schumacher rushed for 48 yards each.
Elgin Public/Pope John (1-1) travels to Central Valley Thursday at 7 p.m.
In its fourth match of the week, the Clearwater/Orchard volleyball team dropped a hard-fought match to Central Valley, 3-0, Friday.
"The girls battled hard and never gave up," said OC coach Sierra Summers. "We had a long week with four games, but we played competitively. Granted we wish the outcome was different, we have lots of positives to look at."
The Lady Cyclones lost all three sets, 25-17, 26-24 and 25-19.
Avery Cheatum and Katie Stearns each tallied nine kills for OC. Julian Tuttle recorded three aces, 17 assists and six digs, JoCee Johnston had four blocks and Taylor Sanne added 15 digs.
Clearwater/Orchard (3-6) travels to Creighton Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
After suffering its first defeat of the year, the Elkhorn Valley volleyball team got back on track with a 3-0 triumph over Niobrara/Verdigre Thursday.
The Lady Falcons cruised to a 25-5 first set victory. After winning set two, 25-17, Elkhorn Valley won the match with a 25-8 set win in the third.
The Lady Falcons were an astounding 98 percent serving on the match, with 13 aces.
Amber Miller had a well-rounded match with seven kills, five aces and 13 assists. Kaylee Bacon accounted for four aces, Hannah Ollendick had 15 kills, 16 digs and two blocks, Haley Fleetwood compiled 12 assists and seven digs and Sierra Rystrom added six kills.
Elkhorn Valley (5-1) plays in the Howell-Dodge Tournament today at 9 a.m.
The Elkhorn Valley football squad cruised to its first win in over two years with a 56-0 shutout victory over Niobrara/Verdigre Friday evening.
“It feels really good, especially after the emotion that was spent in the loss to Elgin Public/Pope John (in week one),” said Elkhorn Valley coach Brendan Dittmer. “It feels good to have the emotion on the other end of it and feel what they (EPPJ) felt. It’s good to take the drama out of it, take care of business early and enjoy it.”
The Falcons scored early and often throughout the contest. After turning the ball over on downs in its opening drive, Elkhorn Valley scored on its next eight drives to claim a 54-0 lead.
"We had a real good prep and practice," stated Elkhorn Valley senior Brock Schaecher. "We did stuff we hadn't done before and we put in the hard work."
Josh McFarland and Brayden Ollendick were a potent 1-2 punch rushing for five combined touchdowns in the first half.
With under a minute remaining in the half, the Falcons drove 48 yards and ended the drive with a Ollendick scoring pass to Damien Knight to claim a 42-0 halftime advantage.
McFarland opened the third quarter with a 21-yard TD run and the Falcons followed up with a 56-yard Schaecher touchdown scamper.
After Elkhorn Valley turned the ball over in downs at Niobrara/Verdigre's one-yard line, Hunter Klinetobe broke through the line and tackled Trey Sucha in the end zone for a safety.
The Falcons ran out the clock for their first win under Dittmer.
"We haven't had this feeling in a long time," Schaecher said. "I knew coming into this season that these were a different set of boys that we haven't had in two and a half years. We had a good feeling coming into this game and we got it done."
A big key to the win was field position. All but four of Elkhorn Valley's drives started inside Cougar territory.
“Field position was huge in the first quarter,” Dittmer noted. “I told the guys jokingly that when we had the ball in the second quarter on the other end of the field, it is good to work on this because we hadn’t done it in a while. We had a methodical drive, but it was really good to have short field position and punch it in.”
The Falcon defense was stifling in the win, giving up just 60 of total offense and holding the Cougars to -9 yards rushing.
"We have been working a lot more of defense than we had," Schaecher said. "We used to split it up in days during the week, but this week we strongly worked on defense. We went over game plans, watched film, came up with a game plan and stuck with it tonight."
The offense was explosive for Elkhorn Valley, recording nearly 350 yards of total offense. Ollendick went 11 of 13 passing for 121 yards and a TD and also rushed for 69 yards and two scores. McFarland ran for 87 yards and four touchdowns, while Schaecher had 81 yards of total offense and a TD.
“It was really good to execute the way we did and still be able to spread the ball around so we could stay as balanced as we need to be,” Dittmer spoke.
Niobrara/Verdigre (0-3) has a bye week next week and travels Creighton Sept. 21.
Elkhorn Valley (1-1) hosts Osceola/High Plains Friday.
“We have a tough test ahead of us with Osceola/High Plains,” Dittmer concluded. “They are a really good consolidated team. Down the road, this is going to keep us motivated. The biggest thing moving forward is that our practices will have more purpose to them. Our practices early have had purpose to them and this is a different team than we’ve had in the past. All the credit goes to them.”
The Neligh-Oakdale football team picked up its first win of the season in dominating fashion with a 58-20 triumph over West Holt on Friday.
"I thought we executed better than we had the last couple of weeks," said N-O coach Ron Beacom. "Last week we did an awful lot of good things, but just kept killing ourselves with turnovers and putting ourselves in bad spots. Today we limited that and did a better job of getting on a roll and staying on a roll. Our kids did a good job of executing."
Both quarterbacks found the end zone to start the contest, as the Warriors led 8-6 early.
N-O then exploded for 38 unanswered points to take a 46-6 lead into the break.
"We told the kids that was a young team and some of the kids they put out there were freshmen," Beacom said. "Their only high school experience was last week against Burwell, where they (Burwell) got after them. We told them to get after them and be physical. I thought we did that by taking the game to them."
Hunter Charf threw three-straight touchdown passes - two to Austin Rice and one to Andrew Herley - to extend the Warriors' advantage.
Herley then took over and rushed for three scores and more than 100 yards to end the first half.
"In practice we kept running our plays and working on it," Herley stated. "We got everything down and kept practicing over and over. Everybody kept getting better and that's all we needed to do to get the job done."
The Huskies fumbled on second play from scrimmage to open the second half and N-O made West Holt pay with a Herley touchdown run.
The Huskies and Warriors exchanged scores to end the game. Tyler Larby scored on a one-yard plunge, then Brock Kester found Carson Jones for a six-yard score and Jakeem Brown ended the scoring with a 46-yard TD run.
"We played better as a team and focused on ourselves more," Herley said. "We did our jobs, and only our jobs, and believed everyone else would do their's. We had more trust and that helped us out in the long run."
The Warrior defense was big the win, causing four turnovers and turning those turnovers into 30 points.
"The biggest thing was we got them (West Holt) to turn the ball over," noted Beacom. "We hadn't done that outside of a fourth-down fumble against Ainsworth, we hadn't had our opponent turn the ball over and we turned the ball over a lot ourselves. We we're more aggressive and we got after them up front. I credit that to Wednesday's practice. We told them we have to play better and practice harder. Our kids got after it and that made a big difference because we got more of a game speed look."
Herley led the offense with more than 150 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns. Charf threw for 176 yards and three scores and Rice caught five passes for 101 yards and two TDs.
"The o-line is doing pretty good and they stepped up their game tonight," Herley said. "I am thankful for that because it saved me from getting hit and bruised up. All together it's a team effort and we're not going to focus on one guy. We play for the team and I'm proud of everyone."
Larby rushed for 94 yards and two scores, while Javin Klabenes ran for 88 yards for the Huskies.
West Holt (0-3) travels to Clearwater to take on the Cyclones Thursday at 7 p.m.
Neligh-Oakdale (1-2) has a bye week before returning to action Sept. 20 against Laurel-Concord-Coleridge at home.
"We'll have a chance to heal even more next week," Beacom concluded. "We had a couple more kids out there this week and we had more depth. We could put more kids out there when other kids weren't feeling it. Getting everyone to a 100 percent will be big this week and watching film.'
The EPPJ girls got back on the winning track Thursday night as they put away Boyd County in four sets to even up their record at 3-3 on the season.
In a dominating first set, the Wolfpack defeated the Spartans 25-16. The next three were a bit more challenging, but Elgin Public/Pope John came out on top in their home match—25-21, 22-25, 25-21.
Kaylee Martinsen led the balanced attack, hammering down 8 kills. Harlie Bode added 7 kills, followed by Kirsten Krebs with 6, Haley Zegers with 4 and Kayce Kallhoff and Anna Heilhecker with 3 each.
Heilhecker worked hard to keep balls from dropping on the Wolfpack side, picking up an impressive 29 digs on the night. Setting up the EPPJ hitters was Allyson Wemhoff, who tallied 30 set assists in the win.
EPPJ will play again on Saturday, Sept. 8 when they travel to Howells-Dodge.
After a perfect 4-0 start, Neligh-Oakdale was dealt two blows Thursday night, but the Warriors rebounded and overcame the obstacles to earn a split at home.
Hosting an orange-out in honor of Fullerton freshman Major Williams, who is battling leukemia, the Warriors opened the triangular with a 25-14, 25-22 loss to Burwell before coming back to top Fullerton 25-14, 16-25, 25-17.
Warrior coach Hannah Hoefer said she was proud of the way her team found its way back after rearranging the rotation and positions when sophomore Aubrie Klabenes went out with an ankle injury midway through the second set of the night. Hoefer said losing a player in their rotation caused the Warriors to work together more as a team.
“It was a mental challenge. They had to convince themselves that they could do that and work through the adversity,” she said. “They had to work outside of their comfort zone and put forth the effort to get through it.”
Instead of its usual nine-player rotation, the Warriors switched to eight when Klabenes went down. Down 11-10 in the second set to an aggressive Burwell squad, the Warriors had difficulty hitting through the blocks, leading to their first loss of the season.
Hoefer said the loss was tough for her team. They could have let the emotional drain lead to two-straight losses, but instead the Warriors played like an entirely different team in their second match.
“I think it was a little bit of a wake-call for them,” Hoefer said. “In the lockerroom, we talked about how to bounce back from it. Do you fight or flight? This team came out fighting. The loss stung, and they didn’t want that feeling again. They had a fight response.”
The first set was nearly even at 16-14 when Warrior junior Shelby Pitzer went on a nine-point serving run to close out the first set for the Warriors for the 25-14 win.
After a strong finish, the Warriors saw several key errors keep them from stealing the momentum away from Fullerton in the second set, who dominated with a 25-16 win.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle until the Warriors went on a late run. Setter Haley Kerkman connected with Trinity Kurpgeweit for a hard kill to the back of the court as it ricocheted into the home crowd for the 21-17 lead.
Sophomore Claire Whitesel had back-to-back ace serves to give Neligh-Oakdale the 24-17 advantage. Fullerton ended the set with a hitting error past the back line.
Hoefer said her team looked like an entirely different squad as she compared the two matches.
“They played with more fire. That was missing in the first game, and I don’t know where it went. We were off. Our ball control wasn’t as great, and so was our decision making,” she said. “You’re going to have those nights, and it’s about how you rebound from that. They showed that they can do that.”
Neligh-Oakdale, now 5-1 on the season, will travel to Randolph on Tuesday. The JV will play in a tournament Saturday in Orchard. They will play Boyd County at 10 a.m. and the OC Cyclones at 11 a.m.
Burwell 25 25
Neligh-Oakdale 14 22
Neligh-Oakdale: Paige Furstenau 1a, 6d; Trinity Kurpgeweit 4k, 4d; Brooke Frey 2d; Amanda Dietz 7k, 1b, 2d; Shelby Pitzer 3k, 3d; Haley Kerkman 1k, 3d, 10sa; Claire Whitesel 2a; Kristen Snodgrass 11d, 1sa.
Fullerton 14 25 17
Neligh-Oakdale 25 16 25
Stats not available at this time.
OC seniors Julian Tuttle, Taylor Sanne, JoCee Johnston and Katie Stearns are ready for a fantastic finish to their high school volleyball careers.
Get to know the entire team here.
With a large senior class full of experience, the Clearwater/Orchard football team has big expectations this season.
Seniors Jacob Long, Clay Thiele, Chris Kester, Blake Hoke, Ryan Wilhelm, Zach Kings, Tommie Peed, Donaven Nolze, Austin Pokorny, Jaccob Bennett, Tristian Ahlers and Codey Snider will lead the Cyclones on the gridiron this season
Get to know the entire team here.
Neligh-Oakdale's Cole Belitz shattered his own record by nearly 30 seconds Thursday, securing his spot as the fastest Warrior cross country runner in school history.
The senior runner, who set the school record on the same course at Butte last year, charged his way to the finish line in just 16:40 for first place, eclipsing his previous record of 17:08. The next fastest runner crossed in a time of 16:54.
"It felt really good," Belitz said. "It was a nice, flat course with almost no wind so that really helped me out. There was also a good group of runners I was able to kind of pace off of for a little while, so that was nice too. My legs felt strong, and it just felt like a really good race to me."
The Warriors were seeing gold all day as Emma Bixler started things off by winning the girls race in a time of 19:59. The next closest runner finished in 20:36.
Coach Rick Eickholt said double golds made for a historic day.
"We created a little Warrior history this afternoon with Cole and Emma both gaining meet championships," Eickholt said. "We've had individual meet championships, but never where both the boys and girls races were won by Neligh-Oakdale in the same meet so that's really kind of special."
Sophomore Griffin Claussen was the only other boy to place in the speedy field of runners, finishing 14th in a time of 18:35. The boys team finished in third place behind team champions West Holt and second place Boyd County.
"The boys competition was really solid," Eickholt said. "Griffin ran 30 seconds faster than what he ran here last year. He got 9th last year, and ran 30 seconds faster this year and got 14th."
Hailey Bixler placed 13th to pick up the other medal in the girls race, crossing in a time of 24:58.
"Overall I thought we competed real well," Eickholt said. "If we're going to move up, boys team-wise, we are going to need to look to improve especially in our middle section with our 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 runners. We've got to get better, but I'm not disappointed. We ran well today."
The Warriors will host the Neligh-Oakdale Invitational at the Neligh's Antelope Country Club on Monday. The girls race will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by the boys and junior high.
Neligh-Oakdale results from the Boyd County Invite at Butte:
1. Emma Bixler, 19:59
13. Hailey Bixler, 24:58
18. Sydney Olson, 28:55
1. Cole Belitz, 16:40
14. Griffin Claussen, 18:35
19. Christian Carothers, 19:20
20. Ashton Higgins, 19:32
23. Jose Luna, 19:56
26. Isaias Juarez, 20:15
31. Thomas Johnson, 21:09
40. Parker Tinsley, 29:09
7. Rain Le - medalist
8. Malory Belitz - medalist
10. Brittany Olson - medalist
11. Tori Heckert
12. Abby Kerkman
The Ewing volleyball team proved to be too much for Clearwater/Orchard, as the Lady Tigers came away with a 3-0 victory over OC Thursday in Niobrara Valley Conference action.
"We worked really hard this week on our passing," said Ewing coach Suz Funk, "We have a lot of versatile hitters and if we can pass the ball, it opens up a lot of options for us. Our passing was better, which opened up a lot of options for us."
Despite the loss, the Lady Cyclone mentor saw a lot of positives on the court Thursday.
"(I am) Extremely proud of how the girls came out and competed," said OC coach Sierra Summers. "We started the week off a bit on the rough side and we have completely bounced back. It was refreshing to see the girls come out and play together. Ewing is a great team and we hung right there with them."
All three sets were back-and-forth struggles to start, but the Lady Tigers were able to score the early runs and take the lead.
"That has been crucial for us," Funk said on gaining the early momentum. "We try to pursue every point, one at a time, and take advantage of our versatility on the floor."
Ewing jumped out to a quick eight-point lead to open the match and held off numerous Lady Cyclones' rally attempt to win the first set, 25-19.
After falling behind 5-3, the Lady Tigers went on a 20-9 run to claim a 23-14 advantage. OC cut into the lead, but the deficit was too much as Ewing captured the second set, 25-17.
Ewing opened the third set with a 15-6 run, but the Lady Cyclones refused to quit, and drew to within six points, but the Lady Tigers won the set, 25-17, and the match.
JoCee Johnston led OC with 13 kills, three blocks and two aces. Katie Stearns collected four kills, six digs and a block, Julian Tuttle recorded 16 assists, two kills and eight digs and Taylor Sanne pitched in two aces and seven digs.
Ewing used a balanced attack to stay unbeaten on the year. Six different players recorded at least one kill, led by Tiana Thramer with 10 kills and two blocks. Ashley Koenig accounted for nine kills and two aces, Sidney Stallbaum tallied six kills and four blocks and Brenna Wagner had four kills, three blocks and two aces.
"We have strived to have everybody be a threat on the floor," Funk noted. "We didn't do as much back-row attacks, which we're going to work on tomorrow, but we had options in the front row. Our middles were pulling the blockers, so they (OC) had to stay with us and couldn't go outside on us. They had to stay because they (Ewing middle hitters) were being a threat on the floor."
Ewing (5-0) travels to Spalding Academy Monday.
"We need to stay healthy and safe," Funk said. "We practice every day and work a little harder. We work different options to get them prepared for every team we meet. The NVC is huge, every night you have to be ready to go."
Clearwater/Orchard (3-5) returns to the court Friday against Central Valley.
"(We are) Working on staying consistent, playing competitively and always staying focused is still our main focus," Summers concluded. (We are) Looking forward to tomorrow's game."
The Elgin Public/Pope John volleyball team salvaged a split on Tuesday at Stuart.
The Lady Wolfpack opened with a two-set victory over Stuart, 25-8 and 25-11.
EPPJ was led by Kaylee Martinsen with six blocks, Allyson Wemhoff with 10 assists, Kayce Kallhoff with four kills, Haley Zegers with three kills, Grace Rittscher with eight digs and Anna Heilhecker seven digs.
The Lady Wolfpack then dropped a hard-fought two-set match to Ewing, 25-20 and 25-23.
Martinsen tallied five kills, Wemhoff recorded 14 assists, while Harlie Bode and Zegers accounted for four kills each.
Elgin Public/Pope John (2-3) hosts Boyd County Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
After dropping its first match of the evening against Boyd County, The Clearwater/Orchard volleyball team bounced back with a two-set win over Spalding Academy on Tuesday.
The Lady Cyclones battled all match, but fell to Boyd County in two sets, 25-23 and 29-27.
OC responded with a 25-22 and 25-23 triumph over Spalding Academy.
"Tonight had its ups and downs," stated OC mentor Sierra Summers. "We had a tough game against Boyd County, which ended up in a loss. We followed with another hard fought game against Spalding Academy, where we came out victorious. I am proud of the way the girls reset their focus and came better prepared. (I am) Looking forward to the rest of the games this week."
Between the two matches, JoCee Johnston led the Lady Cyclones with 17 kills, 15 digs and three aces. Julian Tuttle accumulated 27 assists, three aces and 10 digs, Avery Cheatum had four aces and seven kills, while Taylor Sanne recorded seven kills and four aces.
Clearwater/Orchard (3-4) hosts Ewing Thursday at 6:30 p.m.