BEATRICE – Winning the A Division of the MUDECAS Volleyball Tournament is becoming a habit for Diller-Odell.
The top-ranked team in Class C-2 remained undefeated on the season at 10-0 with a 25-20, 25-19 win over Class D-2 #2 Exter-Milligan Thursday night at Southeast Community College in Beatrice. It’s the second-straight A Division title for the Griffins, which had never won a MUDECAS A Division title in school history before last year.
Duller-Odell coach Kandice Jurgens said she liked what she saw of her squad in the match and feel like her team is more well-rounded than last year’s version of the MUDECAS champs.
“I think the difference this year is that we have more availability for hitters this year. We’re pretty strong in every spot across the net,” Jurgens said. “We’re able to not just go to Madison (Jurgens) and Madison (Hajek) and we can get a kill from other spots so it’s hard for other teams to play that defensively.”
While South Dakota recruit Madison Jurgens is clearly the straw that stirs the drink for Diller-Odell, the Griffins showed an incredibly balanced attack with Jurgens orchestrating an up-tempo offense. The setter/right side finished with a team-high five kills and 10 assists, but was followed closely by Madison Hajek’s four kills and two apiece from Mackenzie Vitosh, Paige Vitosh, Katie Zarybnicky and Kirsten Bures.
Exeter-Milligan, which dropped to 9-3 with the loss, was right with Diller-Odell midway through both sets but never seemed to be able to get over the hump late. Samantha Horne got hot for Exeter-Milligan midway through the second set with two straight kills and a block that helped trigger a Timberwolves run that got them within 16-14 on a kill Hailey Luzum but that was as close as they would get. A kill from Bures and ace serve from Jurgens ended the set and match at 25-19 for the Griffins.
The first set was tied at 11-11, but a little later a kill from Mackenzie Vitosh started the Griffins on a 5-0 run that would get them a lead of 22-15. Mackenzie Vitosh then closed out the first set 25-20 for Diller-Odell with a kill on an Exeter-Milligan overpass.
Ashley Benorden led Exeter-Milligan with six kills while Katherine White and Samantha Horne each had five. Sydney Hall finished with a match-high 22 assists for the Timberwolves.
In the third-place match in the A division, Freeman defeated BDS 20-25, 27-25, 25-20 while Johnson-Brock defeated Falls City Sacred Heart 25-12, 25-22 in the fifth-place match.
In the B Division, Palmyra defeated Pawnee City 25-18, 25-19 for the championship. Lewiston beat Sterling 25-17, 24-26, 25-20 to take third place and Tri County took fifth place with a 25-14, 28-30, 25-20 win over Southern.