Wahoo, Pius X, GICC All Shine on First Day of Omaha Team Camp
OMAHA – Over the past few years, we’ve talked a lot about how some of the best volleyball in the state can be found in Class C-1 and it was proven to be true again on Friday on the first…
OMAHA – Over the past few years, we’ve talked a lot about how some of the best volleyball in the state can be found in Class C-1 and it was proven to be true again on Friday on the first day of the Omaha team camp at Sapp Fieldhouse.
In a field with a large percentage of the top teams in Class A, B and C-1, it was the two teams that played for the Class C-1 title last year – champion Wahoo and Grand Island Central Catholic – along with Class A’s likely preseason top-ranked team Lincoln Pius X that had the best showings.
In the team camp format, teams played six matches of two sets. Wahoo had the best record among the Red Division – which features the top 28 teams – at 11-1. Grand Island Central Catholic and Lincoln Pius X both came in at 10-2.
Other teams that played well and kept themselves in a position to compete in the “championship re-pool” on Saturday afternoon included Nebraska teams Elkhorn South, Lincoln Southwest, Gretna, Elkhorn and Grand Island Northwest. Sheyenne (North Dakota) and Sioux Falls Roosevelt also had strong first days.
Teams will play three more matches apiece on Saturday morning and then the top teams in each of the two pools will be repooled together to compete in the afternoon session.
Wahoo really looked in midseason form on Friday. It seems like Illinois recruit Kyla Swanson gets better each and every month. You can really see her just getting stronger, quicker and more powerful and she has a great connection with USC setter recruit Elle Glock. I wouldn’t say Wayne State outside hitter recruit Elly Larson is completely back from her knee injury, but the fact that she is out playing and doing so at a pretty good level already is pretty impressive. The Warriors are going to be able to put six really solid players on the court at all times.
Neither Pius X nor Grand Island CC have their full teams going this weekend. Omaha recruit and potential Class C-1 player of the year Megan Woods still has her foot in a boot as she deals with a stress fracture. The fact the Crusaders went 10-2 without Woods just tells you how much talent they have. They basically bring their whole team back this year.
Pius X didn’t have all of its expected varsity players with it either, but the Thunderbolts are probably the most talented and athletic team to bottom in the state aside from Skutt Catholic. The Bolts serve and pass well, have a big presence at the net and setter Gracie Gokie really runs things so smoothly. She’s a vastly underrated setter.
Elkhorn is looking like it has the potential to have a strong season in Class B. The Antlers have one of the better setters in Dordt recruit Megan Raszler and are going to be much improved over last season.
Bellevue West and Omaha Burke, to me, were pretty good teams to watch. The T-birds went 7-5 and were a little bit of a surprise, but they looked pretty solid on Friday and Burke’s 5-7 record doesn’t really reflect how well I thought the Bulldogs played when I got to see them.