BEATRICE – While Class D-1 #1 Johnson-Brock swept #2 Meridian in the finals of the MUDECAS Tournament in Beatrice on Thursday night, there were quite a few other happenings in volleyball across the state as well. Here are the 10…
BEATRICE – While Class D-1 #1 Johnson-Brock swept #2 Meridian in the finals of the MUDECAS Tournament in Beatrice on Thursday night, there were quite a few other happenings in volleyball across the state as well.
Here are the 10 best thoughts and takeaways from around the state Thursday night.
The Only Team in Class D-1 That Can Beat Johnson-Brock is Johnson-Brock
The Eagles absolutely rolled Meridian 25-18, 25-21 in a match that wasn’t nearly as close as the scores make it look. This was basically the same Meridian team which beat basically the same Johnson-Brock team in the district finals a year ago, but there was not nearly the same emotional energy from the Mustangs this time around.
Of Meridian’s 39 points, 16 came from Johnson-Brock hitting or service errors. Meridian had just 14 kills on the night, most coming late in each set after the Eagles had already forged large leads and the outcome already in hand.
For Johnson-Brock, coach Tera Stutheit got the kind of win I imagine most coaches love. It was a great win, but when she turns on the film, there will be plenty of things for the Eagles to work on and get better at. Johnson-Brock clearly down-throttled on the court after getting large leads in each set. Couple that with the number of errors at the net and service line for Johnson-Brock and the Eagles should consider themselves lucky the Mustangs didn’t bring their A game.
Future Husker Fallon Stutheit finished with 19 kills for Johnson-Brock and Kaitlynn Simon had eight kills and 13 digs. Brynn Westenburg had 30 assists. Halle Pribyl led Meridian with 5 kills while Erin Johnson had 12 assists and Jaicee Sobotka had 18 digs.
Columbus Scotus is Back Among Class C-1 Powers After Win over Grand Island Central Catholic
Johnson-Brock might have survived making a lot of errors Thursday night, but Class C-1 #1 Grand Island Central Catholic did not. The Crusaders had 15 service errors in a 25-18, 18-25, 15-25, 25-20, 15-12 loss to #9 Columbus Scotus.
In a classic fifth set between to the two powerhouse programs, there were four lead changes and eight ties. With Columbus Scotus ahead 13-11, Megan Woods got a kill for the Crusaders to cut it to 13-12, but a GICC service error and kill by the Shamrocks’ Shania Borchers ended the match. Elley Beaver led Scotus with 13 kills. Allison Kalvoda led the Crusaders with 18 kills.
Diane Rouzee Gets Win #750 As Grand Island Northwest Sweeps Waverly
Grand Island Northwest, ranked #4 in Class B, improved to 11-1 on the season with a sweep of 7-6 Waverly Thursday night. The win was the 750th in the career of legendary Vikings coach Diane Rouzee, which is the eighth most in state history and fourth most among active coaches.
Taryn Mayfield had a match-high 14 kills and three aces and led the team in digs with 22 for Northwest. Waverly’s Annika Evans had a match-high 29 assists.
Three of the State’s Top Available Prospects Off the Market With Commitments
A trio of outstanding players in the state announced their college commitments on a busy Thursday for recruiting news.
Aurora 5’11 junior high-riser Addie Smith committed to Division I Radford – a member of the Big South Conference in Virginia. Smith is still very raw, but has all the physical tools you are looking for. Through 15 matches this year for the Huskies she has 98 kills (2.6 per set) and is hitting at a .210 clip. She had 19 kills in Aurora’s 3-2 win over Norris to start the season. She is listed as the #49 prospect in our Class of 2019 rankings.
Morgan Nibbe, a 6’1 senior from Red Cloud, committed to Concordia. She burst onto the recruiting scene in the summer of 2016 and is ranked as the #26 prospect in our Class of 2018 rankings. Last year in leading Red Cloud to its first-ever state tournament, Nibbe finished with 279 kills (3.3 per set) and 52 solo blocks. She is another late bloomer of sorts, never having played major-level club volleyball, meaning her best years are yet to come.
Emma Ryan, a 6’0 senior from Minden, committed to Doane. Ryan had been a role player for the loaded Kearney Catholic teams the past couple years before transferring to Minden for her final year. Also, a very accomplished swimmer, Ryan is ranked as the #52 prospect in our Class of 2018 rankings, and is a dynamic athlete with long arms and a strong work ethic that should make an impact in the GPAC sooner rather than later.
Jaisee Stinson’s Stock Continues to Rise at Fast Pace for Millard South
The past couple weeks, no player has made my phone blow up more than Stinson, the junior setter for Millard South. Everyone is talking about her – and recruiting her – it seems. The Patriots are now 9-6 with wins over Skutt Catholic and Millard West this season and Stinson was back at it again last night with 10 kills and 35 assists. The 5’9 junior might be the best female athlete in the state as well as one of the most well-rounded volleyball players. She averages 8.6 assists, 2.0 kills and 2.0 digs per set. She is the best attacking weapon as a 5-1 system setter in the state since Sydney O’Shaughnessy was at Omaha Marian.
Don’t Sleep on Omaha Roncalli and Halle Mesiter in Class B
Meister, a Washburn recruit, had 20 kills on 32 swings last night on Roncallli’s win over Omaha Mercy as the Crimson Pride improved to 5-3. All three of Roncalli’s losses are to top teams in the state (Wahoo, Duchesne and Ord) and Mesiter is big-time. She’s averaging 4.2 kills per set while hitting .255 with a block and 2.6 digs per set.
Rylee Marshall Doin’ Work for Fort Calhoun
The 6’1 Omaha recruit lives in a little bit of obscurity playing at Fort Calhoun, but Rylee Marshall is probably the best high school player you haven’t seen play. Last night in the Pioneers’ sweep of Raymond Central she had 26 kills and she is likely to make an impact for the Mavs right away next season.
Hastings and Cecilia Beahm Deserve Your Attention and Respect
Hastings sits at #7 in our Class B rankings and could be on the move up after a sweep of Holdrege last night. Hastings has been a young team for a couple years and took their lumps last year in an 11-win season and in 2015 with it won just 10 times. The Tigers are now 5-1 and they are legit. Also, Hastings does not have a senior on its team, so expect that they will be around for a while. Cecilia Beahm is a 5’11 junior and tremendous athlete with the ability to put on a team on her back and carry it. A Hastings College commit, Beahm is averaging 4.8 kills 2.6 digs per match and had 30 kills in a season-opening win over McCook this year. The only blemish on Hastings’ record this year is a five-set loss to Class A #10 Kearney.
Hartington Cedar Catholic Proves It’s Legit With Sweep of LHNE
There is something pretty special brewing up in Hartington, where Cedar Catholic is now 13-0 after roaring past a good Lutheran High Northeast team 25-16, 25-12, 25-21 last night. The top-ranked in Class C-2 is also ranked #17 in the all-class rankings. Juniors Maddie Wieseler (13) and Jada Cattau (10) led the Trojans in kills last night. If you don’t think Hartington Cedar Catholic is one of the top 15 teams in the state regardless of class, consider that the Trojans are the only team to beat Class C-1 power Bishop Neumann this year and they also own a win over Columbus Scotus, which is 9-3 and defeated Class C-1 #1 Grand Island Central Catholic last year.
All for ONE and ONE for All
I’m not a big fan of talking about club volleyball during the high school season, but this little tidbit was kind of hard to pass up. As of this morning according to MaxPreps (and FWIW if you’re coach doesn’t update stats on MaxPreps it’s pretty hard for kids to get recognized for their accomplishments) the top three kill leaders in the state are: 1.) Fallon Stutheit, Johnson-Brock, 208; 2.) Marriah Buss, Lincoln Lutheran, 176; 3.) Lexie Langley, Archbishop Bergan, 173. All three of those players also played on the same Nebraska ONE club team in 2017.