Six months ago Nebraska Elite 17 Ooh Rah’s hopes for repeating as a national champion in the AAU Open Division National Championships seemed bleak, to put it mildly.
Kansas State recruit Brooke Heyne of Omaha Skutt spent most of January and February icing her knee instead of icing matches. Air Force defensive specialist recruit Jordan Daniels of Millard West suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing in her future home of Colorado Springs – of all places.
Coaches were able to persuade Jessica Schlautman to end her “retirement” to fill the void left by the Daniels injury. Waverly’s Lindsay Brunssen was summoned up from another team at Elite and it took the defending 16-and-under AAU National Champions a while to gel back together. But, Schlautman teamed with Grace Nelson to give the squad a steady back row and Brunssen turned heads all season with her play and Ooh Rah found itself back on the big stage in Orlando again this summer.
Nebraska Elite Ooh Rah overcame losses to OVA/TBVA 17s and Asics Munciana Aztecs to get into the championship round of 14 on the third day of competition in 17 Open. Elite then made its way to the quarterfinals with a gutsy 21-25, 26-24, 15-8 win over Circle City 17 Purple.
With the championship field down to just seven teams (the top seed had a first-round bye), Nebraska Elite Ooh Rah had Top Select 17 Elite on the ropes but was unable to put them away in a heart-breaking 16-25, 30-28, 15-9 loss to finish in a tie for fifth-place. Top Select then went on to sweep its opponents in the semifinals and championship to win the national title.
Of the 12 teams from Nebraska that competed in the Open Division at the AAU and USAV National Championships, Ooh Rah and Nebraska Elite 12 Synergy were the two teams to record a top-10 finish.
Nebraska Elite Synergy finished in a tie for seventh place in the 21-team 12 Open Divisions.
Below are the results and rosters of all the teams that competed in Open Division in either Orlando or Indianapolis.
12 Open – AAU (21 teams)
Nebraska Elite 12 Synergy – tied for 7th place
Coaches: Kimberlee Bymers, Anna Grovijohn
Roster: Isabella Balak, Morgan Burke, Kate Galvin, Jenna Hamilton, Ava Heyne, Sydney Raszler, Samantha Riggs, Abby Schomers, Baylee Towels, Kylie Weeks, Abigail Wessling.
13 Open – USAV (24 teams)
Premier 13 Gold – tied for 11th place
Coaches: Andrea Eller, Addison Smith, Kelsey O’Connell
Roster: Devyn Carmichael, Cameron Cartwright, Morgan Hickey, Jayden Kistaitis, Lindsay Krause, Olivia Rouw, Phyona Schrader, Norah Sis, Paige Stobbe, Brilee Wieseler.
Nebraska Elite 13 Thunder – tied for 19th place
Coaches: Angie Lantz, Jeana Rosacker
Roster: Amanda Allbery, Ella Bellinghausen, Sofia Bressani, Allison Gray, Rylee Gray, Molly Jenkins, Shayla McCormick, Ellie Miller, Allison Petry, Hollyanne Stang.
Nebraska ONE 13 Shockerz – tied for 23rd place
Coaches: Christina Boesiger, Ashley Wagner
Roster: Maisie Boesiger, Malorie Boesiger, Kalli Kroeker, Holly Ochsner, Brooke Peltz, Molly Ramsey, Kylen Sealock, Kaysia Woods, Tyrah Woods, Brittany Wulf.
14 Open – USAV (36 teams)
Premier 14 Gold – 21st place
Coaches: Ashley Martin, Tad Martin, Kiki Linebaugh
Roster: Emma Crouch, London Emmons, Sophie Hendrix, Gabrielle Nordaker, Chloe Paschal, McKenna Ruch, Kenedy Schaecher, Brooklyn Schram, Lydia Yost, Cameron Young.
15 Open – AAU (38 teams)
Nebraksa Elite 15 Kekoa – tied for 21st place
Coaches: Lindsay Hansen, Julianne Mandolfo, Andres Rodriguez-Burns
Roster: Maddie Burt, Logan Connealy, Emmy Grant, Emma Grunkemeyer, Lily Heyne, Paige Holdsworth, Riley Miller, Sophia Moes, Mackenzie Saitta, Baylie Shearer, Emma Worthington.
16 Open – AAU (58 teams)
Nebraska Elite 16 Meraki – tied for 15th place
Coaches: Tony Carrow, Caitlyn Rueth, Baylee Strachan
Roster: Kate Bilyeu, Emily Bressman, Sydney Daniels, Julianna Kalil, Rylee Marshall, Maggie Mullen, Katherine Poore, Kennedy Stromberg, Maddie Wiedenfeld, Sarah Wing.
Nebraska Juniors 161 – tied for 37th place
Coaches: Jake Moore
Roster: Grace Hern, Mara LeGrand, Kristin Lux, Jordan McCormick, Halle Meister, Lindsay Nottlemann, Elle Olson, Sidney Pecha, Corrie Schneider, Kamryn Schuler.
17 Open – AAU (67 teams)
Nebraska Elite 17 Ooh Rah – tied for 5th place
Coaches: Andrew Wehrli, James Shinn, Karen Schonewise
Roster: Lindsay Brunssen, Jordan Daniels, Brooklyn Duren, Brooke Heyne, Taylor Marshall, Kathleen Medill, Grace Nelson, Jessica Schlautman, Allison Schomers, Madison Stearns, Sarah Swanson.
Nebraska Juniors 171 – tied for 24th place
Coaches: Ryan Gray, Jessica Fauss, Jake Moore
Roster: Megan Dobbs, Madison Jurgens, Lauren Leapley, Callahan Netsch, Ashlyn Power, Jaisa Russell, Lucy Skoch, Kinsley Tinglehoff, Jacee Weber, Mary Katherin Wolfe, Mallory Yost.
Nebraska Extreme – 65th place
Coaches: Joshua Adams, Trish Adams
Roster: Kacie Allgood, Alexis Barnes, Jillian Briley, Maddie Davis, Alyssa Frederick, Haylee Heits, Jade Hill, Jayse Koehler, Mattie Nichols, Kaitlynn Simon, Kendall Werts.
18 Open – AAU (35 teams)
Nebraska Juniors 181 – 23rd place
Coaches: Gwen Egbert, Gina Chambers, Craig Songster
Roster: Morgan Alexander, Tarrin Beller, Samantha Duncan, Taylor Els, Kelsey Green, Lauren Hinrichs, Raegan LeGrand, Elizabeth Loschen, Alex Neff, Cameron Scott, Brittany Witt.