Interview with Columbus Scotus coach Joe Held
WAHOO – In what has to be considered the most competitive conference tournament in the state from top-to-bottom, Columbus Scotus showed Saturday what it can do when it’s on top of its game.
Scotus, ranked #3 in Class C-1, improved to 18-4 on the season by winning the Centennial Conference Tournament title with a 25-19, 25-21 win over Wahoo Bishop Neumann on the Cavaliers’ home court.
None of the eight teams in the tournament entered Saturday with a losing record. At 10-10, Lincoln Lutheran was the #8 seed while a 13-6 Lincoln Christian was the #7 seed. As a collective field, the eight teams entered the tournament with a record of 100-47. The eight teams have a combined 33 state championships.
Of course, Scotus owns 15 of those state championships and the Shamrocks were able to add another conference title to their resume with wins over Fremont Archbishop Bergan, Class C-1 #5 Omaha Concordia and Bishop Neumann.
In the championship match, Neumann – which knocked off Class C-1 #4 Grand Island Central Catholic in the semifinals – took an 11-9 lead on Scotus on a kill by sophomore Jessina Rada. Scouts 6-foot junior Jessica Buhman answered with two straight kills and a block to put Scotus up 12-11 and the Shamrocks never trailed again in the set.
Scouts eventually built its lead to 22-15 on an ace serve from Hannah Thomazin, but Neumann’s 6-foot-1 freshman outside hitter Kelsie Cada slammed three straight kills to get the Cavaliers within 22-18. A kill by Scotus senior Maeghan Pieper, ace from Sarah Schumacher and kill by Kimberly Stutzman, however, finished off the first-set win over the Shamrocks.
Cada – who finished with a match-high 13 kills for Neumann – delivered a point from the outside for the Cavaliers late in the second set which pulled Neumann within 17-16, but a pair of Pieper kills and a Schumacher ace keyed a 5-0 run that put the Shamrocks up 22-16. Cada would add three more kills down the stretch for Neumann and Hannah Thiele had two, but it wasn’t enough as Stutzman ended the match with her fourth kill of the night.
Thiele had six kills in the match for Neumann while Jessina Rada had 14 assists. Scotus had a balanced attack led by Pieper’s eight kills. Schumacher added five kills for the Shamrocks while Stutzman and Buhman each had four. Morgan Thorson finished with 26 assists for Scotus.
To reach the championship match, Scotus had to rally past Class C-1 #5 Omaha Concordia 21-25, 25-22, 25-20 while Neumann upset the tournament’s top seed Grand Island Central Catholic by a score of 25-18, 25-23. In the third-place match, Grand Island CC defeated Concordia in three sets.
2015 Centennial Conference Tournament Results
Grand Island CC def. Lincoln Lutheran 25-18, 23-25, 25-15
Bishop Neumann def. Hastings St. Cecilia 22-25, 25-22, 25-18
Omaha Concordia def. Lincoln Christian 18-25, 26-24, 25-23
Columbus Scotus def. Archbishop Bergan 25-15, 25-12
Lincoln Lutheran def. Hastings St. Cecilia 25-21, 9-25, 25-22
Lincoln Christian def. Archbishop Bergan 20-25, 25-19, 25-16
Bishop Neumann def. Grand Island CC 25-18, 25-23
Columbus Scotus def. Omaha Concordia 21-25, 25-22, 25-20
Seventh Place Match
Hastings St. Cecilia def. Archbishop Bergan 25-12, 25-10
Fifth Place Match
Lincoln Christian def. Lincoln Lutheran 25-18, 25-22
Third Place Match
Grand Island CC def. Omaha Concordia 21-25, 25-17, 25-15
Columbus Scotus def. Bishop Neumann 25-19, 25-21