LINCOLN – Lincoln Southeast ran its winning streak to 20 matches Tuesday night while advancing to the Heartland Athletic Conference championship in the process.
The Knights, 30-4, rolled to a 25-15, 25-11, 25-4 win over Lincoln High in the quarterfinals before taking a 25-21, 27-25, 18-25, 25-18 win over Lincoln East in the semifinals.
Lincoln Southeast will face Lincoln North Star in the championship match at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Lincoln High. North Star reached the championship with a 3-0 win over Lincoln North Star and then rallying for an 18-25, 25-17, 14-25, 25-19, 15-9 win over Grand Island in the other semifinal.
Grand Island will face Lincoln East in the third-place match at 5 p.m. Thursday at Lincoln High. Also on Thursday, Fremont will play Lincoln Southwest for fifth place and Lincoln Northeast and Lincoln High will compete for seventh place.
In the semifinal between Lincoln Southeast and Lincoln East, the Knights took early leads in the first two sets and held on to win both, but the Spartans controlled the third set.
Early in the fourth set it looked like Southeast was going to race away from the Spartans when it took an 11-5 lead on a kill by Greta Solomon. East responded, however, with a 5-0 run and pulled within 11-10 on a Fiona Harding block.
Consecutive kills from Southeast’s Solomon and one from Zoe Prenda stretched Southeast’s lead back out to 14-10 and the Spartans never got closer than two points the rest of the way.
Nebraska-Omaha recruit Meagen Roth led a balanced attack for Southeast with 18 kills while Prenda added 15 and Solomon finished with 13. Nerissa Moravec finished with a match-high six blocks and senior setter Kylee Wurster dished out 52 assists to go along with eight kills.
Taylor Rising led Lincoln East with 14 kills and Anna Holmquist added 11 and four blocks. Lexie Duch had 37 assists and Kara Bown added a team-high 18 digs.
#2 Lincoln Southeast def. #13 Lincoln East 25-21, 27-25, 18-25, 25-18.
Lincoln East (kills-ace serves-blocks)
Kara Bown 0-1-0, Alexis Mayse 2-0-2, Fiona Harding 8-0-3, Kylie Roe 8-3-1, Shelby Brown 3-0-0, Lexie Duch 0-0-2, Taylor Rising 14-1-1, Morgan Walters 0-1-0, Anna Holmquist 11-1-4.
Lincoln Southeast (kills-ace serves-blocks)
Greta Solomon 13-0-1, Kylee Wurster 8-0-0, Zoe Prenda 15-0-0, Meagan Roth 18-0-1, Emma McKillip 6-1-1, Nerissa Moravec 5-0-6, Lizzie Saale 0-1-0.
Assists: Lincoln East 40 (Duch 37, Roe 2, Bown 1). Lincoln Southeast 55 (Wurster 52, McKillip 1, Moravec 1, Carly Sheppard 1). Digs: Lincoln East 48 (Bown 18). Lincoln Southeast N/A.
Heartland Athletic Conference Scores from Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Lincoln Southeast def. Lincoln High 25-15, 25-11, 25-4.
Lincoln East def. Fremont 25-22, 25-17, 25-20.
Lincoln North Star def. Lincoln Northeast 25-18, 25-21, 25-16.
Grand Island def. Lincoln Southwest 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 25-15.
Lincoln Southeast def. Lincoln East 25-21, 27-25, 18-25, 25-18.
Lincoln North Star def. Grand Island 18-25, 25-17, 14-25, 25-19, 15-9.
Fremont def. Lincoln High 25-12, 25-17, 25-19.
Lincoln Southwest def. Lincoln Northeast 25-15, 25-20, 25-21.