At the one-week mark of the Nebraska high school volleyball season, there is already plenty of things to talk about. Each Thursday I will combine all the little pieces of information and opinion that I have collected over the…
At the one-week mark of the Nebraska high school volleyball season, there is already plenty of things to talk about. Each Thursday I will combine all the little pieces of information and opinion that I have collected over the prior week and put it into a single column. So, let’s get started with what has happened so far.
I think the biggest story of the first week is the lack of a dominate team in Class A and the fact that the top five teams in Class B might be just as good – or dare I say potentially better than – the top five teams in Class A.
Current Class A #5 Omaha Marian suffered its first loss of the season to Class B #2 Omaha Skutt on Friday at the Bellevue Invitational. Top-ranked Lincoln Southwest lost to Class B #4 Lincoln Pius X on Tuesday. To me, it’s an indication that the Class B talent is possible as good as it has ever been. Of the 13 Division I recruits in Nebraska, only four are from Class A schools. There is tremendous talent at the Class B levels and below.
As mentioned above, Lincoln Pius X knocked off Lincoln Southwest 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 Tuesday night. The Thunderbolts deserve a lot of credit for such a huge win and they have proven that they are as good as anyone in the state when they are playing well.
With that being said, none of the major media outlets in Nebraska mentioned that Lincoln Southwest was without the services of devastating 6-foot-1 outside hitter Allie Davis. Davis is widely considered one of the premier sophomores in the state and is already drawing interest from Division I schools. Davis suffered a high ankle sprain and did not get cleared medically to play in the match and her status for this Friday’s double triangular involving Omaha Marian and Bellevue West is still in question. Pius X certainly could have defeated Southwest with Davis in the line-up, but it would have been interesting to see how it turned out if Davis had been able to play.
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Leavenworth High in Kansas hosted a Dig For a Cure triangular to start off its volleyball season. What makes it unique is that it was played on a temporary court put in place on the school’s football field and played in the late afternoon and early evening under the lights.
The team was able to raise $1,000 that was donated to the University of Kansas Cancer Survivorship Center. Reading about it made me wonder who will be the first Nebraska high school to host an outdoor match on a football field. How amazing would it be to have all three Millard high schools take part in such a triangular at Buell Stadium? Or what about in talent-rich volleyball areas like Grand Island or Columbus involving the schools in each town for a triangular? Seacrest Field would be great for a Lincoln school to host something similar.
Even though she “technically” isn’t a Division I recruit, it should be noted that Grand Island senior setter McKenzie Fyfe has been invited to walk-on at Wichita State. She’s a big reason why the Islanders are 3-0 this season and a sleeper team to watch at the Millard North Invitational this weekend.
Speaking of a sleeper team, it’s important to point out the 5-0 start for Omaha North. While the Vikings have only beaten one team with a winning record (Class B’s Omaha Mercy), it is still impressive that North is not only perfect through five matches, it also has not dropped a single set yet.
Columbus Scotus senior libero Alli Bos left midway through the third set of Tuesday night’s match with Omaha Concordia with an obvious knee injury. Bos, who previously tore her ACL playing soccer, was tracking a ball when it hit the gym ceiling, causing Bos to plant her foot and make a sudden change of direction and her knee immediately gave out. She was able to walk to the locker room under her own power and retuned to the bench with an icepack on her knee at the very end of the match. She was schedule to have her knee examined the following morning. We do not know the results of that examination yet.
Some final random thoughts from the Bellevue Invitational last weekend:
- Papillion-LaVista South is a team in transition in many ways, but there is a world of talent on that team. The Titans are going to be one of those teams nobody wants to face in their district. Give them another six weeks to gain experience and get more acclimated with new coach Elena Pietro and taking away the Class A title from them will be harder than some might think.
- It will be interesting to see which way the Lincoln Northeast season goes. Northeast swept Millard North 2-0 in pool play, which is the Mustangs’ only loss on the season. But the Rockets are just 2-4 on the season after dropping matches to Skutt and Lincoln Southeast on Saturday and then losing at Omaha Burke, a team that came into the match with a record of 2-4. Northeast has great talent, led by 6-foot-3 Creighton recruit Toni Tupper, but just hasn’t been able to get it all to click yet.
- I was thoroughly impressed with Omaha Central middle blockers Amara Meeks and Aaliyah Dunbar. The two 6-foot seniors are both athletic and capable of dominating play at the net. The Eagles might only be 1-6 on the season, but they are going to pull off a major upset or two this season. They just lack the overall depth right now to be a top 10 team.
- It would be hard to find two teams that played with more energy than Millard South and Omaha Westside – two very young and fun teams to watch. The match between the two late Friday night with a trip to the championship bracket on the line was easily the most entertaining of the day.