7 Standouts: GISH v. Lincoln High
GRAND ISLAND – After getting swept by Millard West to open the year, Grand Island made quick work of Lincoln High on Tuesday night in their home opener. The Links, who appear to be much improved from last season’s 11-22…
GRAND ISLAND – After getting swept by Millard West to open the year, Grand Island made quick work of Lincoln High on Tuesday night in their home opener.
The Links, who appear to be much improved from last season’s 11-22 team, came into Grand Island 4-0 after winning the Omaha North Invitational last weekend. But, the Islanders went to work quick just out to an 8-2 lead in game one and cruising to a sweep of 25-11, 25-23 and 25-16.
GI now heads to the Millard North Tournament this weekend where they have the rare task of facing three 2016 state champions in one day. The Islanders will play the hosts, Omaha Skutt (Class B) and Omaha Concordia (Class C-1) on their first day of play Friday.
A look at some of the Seven Standouts from Tuesday night.
MVP: Alexa Blase (Grand Island)
Blase, a 6’0 senior and three-sport athlete, looked the part of a Division I player with 14 kills and four blocks on the evening. Maybe one of the top leapers in Class A, when the offense is clicking for GISH it’s going her way and she generally delivers. The Links had no answer if she got a clean look. The Nebraska-Omaha recruit is the No. 20 player in our 2018 rankings but could move up as the season moves along.
Best Offensive Performance: Hannah Burianek (Lincoln High)
Burianek was one of the few bright spots for Lincoln High on an off night. She finished with six kills, three ace serves and 11 assists. Burianek, at 5’7” might not garner major attention, but she’s a six-rotation player who could serve as a defensive specialist or setter at the small college level. She rarely lets off the gas pedal.
Best Defensive Performance: Haleigh Hoos (Grand Island)
While the author is trying to pull double duty of announcing and keeping some prehistoric stats, Hoos shined at her new libero spot for coach Bill Root. She served an ace and little got past the back line for the Islanders on Tuesday, the Links had just 22 kills in the match.
Best All-Around Performance: Britni Aguilar (Grand Island)
The 6’0 senior is coming into her own and could be a breakout player this year. A force at the night, she can place attacks from the middle to all corners of the court. Had eight kills and three blocks on Tuesday night.
Best Intangibles: Sam Armstrong (Grand Island)
Armstrong is a quiet, unassuming bulldog who you get the feeling is the girl on the bus who hates to lose a game of cards, but also holds the team together when they need a big play. Five kills, an ace and three blocks against the Links.
Best Debut as a Volleyball Athletic Director: Cindy Wells
Cindy Wells, a former assistant principal at GISH and long-time volleyball cheerleader and official in Nebraska, stepped into the athletic director role after the retirement of Joe Kutlas last spring. Her first game in her new position went off without a hitch.
Best Performance by a Sophomore or Freshman: Bre Golden (Lincoln High)
Not many young players on the court in this one, but the potential of Golden sure sticks out. At 6’3 and quick she can be a force at the net. But, she had just two kills on Tuesday as the Link serve-receive suffered slightly. A great block of Blase early that pumped her up before Blase returned the favor moments later.