Class D-2 No. 3 Wynot survived a scare to pick up its 25th win of the season, rallying past Falls City Sacred Heart in five sets in the first round of the state volleyball tournament Thursday night at Lincoln Northeast High School.
The Blue Devils (25-3) won 27-25, 13-25, 25-22, 17-25, 15-11 to keep alive their hopes for what would be their first state championship.
“When you’re down here (at the state tournament), you can’t play with any fear,” Wynot coach Tammy Wieseler said.
“No matter what the score is, no matter what is going on on the court. I think we got a little scared at points.”
Wynot found itself in a hole early on, with the Irish leading the first set 24-21.
That’s when practice kicked in for the Blue Devils.
“We’ve been in situations like that this season,” Wieseler said. “In practice we have done drills where we are down one and have to win two-of-three to stay alive.”
Well, practice paid off.
The Blue Devils rallied to take the first set 27-25 and won two of the next three sets to force a fifth.
“We definitely were not on the same page the entire time,” Wieseler said, “but we are just strong at the core in the big moments in the match.”
Falls City Sacred Heart couldn’t find its grove at times, and head coach Susan Witt pointed to youthfulness as a main reason for the struggles.
“We were playing with mostly sophomores out there,” Witt said. “I think, at times, the moment was a little too much.”
Whitney Hochstein led the way for Wynot with 12 kills, while Keitlyn Heimes added eight kills and four blocks.
McKenzie Witt led the Irish (21-14) with 17 kills.
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HARTINGTON CEDAR CATHOLIC 3, CWC 0: Hartington Cedar Catholic advanced to the Class D1 semifinals, upsetting No. 3 CWC 26-24, 25-16, 25-12 on Thursday.
Abigail Hochstein led HCC with 14 kills and three aces and Laney Kathol had 10 kills and three blocks. Brynn Wortmann had 10 kills and Tori Arens had three aces. Megan Heimes has 12 digs and Aiden Wortmann had 32 assists.
HCC play Diller-Odell at 11 a.m. on Friday in the semifinals.
BROKEN BOW 3, WAYNE 1: Wayne saw its season come to an end in the first round of the Class C1 state tournament.
Wayne won the first set 25-22 but lost the next three 25-20, 25-8, 25-18 to end the season with a 29-6 record.
Lauren Pick led Wayne with 27 kills and 15 digs and Emily Armstrong had 10 kills and 21 digs. Hailey Backer had 21 digs and Sydney Redden had 12 digs. Kiara Krusemark had 42 assists.
DAKOTA VALLEY 3, LENNOX 0: Dakota Valley easily moved on in the Class A postseason with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of Lennox.
Dakota Valley improves to 30-3 on the season and qualifies as a final 16 team, The Panthers will play an opponent yet to be determined on Tuesday. Lennox ends the season 15-15.
Tori Schultz had eight kills for Dakota Valley and Sophia Atchison had eight kills and 13 digs. Ally Beresford had 41 assists and taylor Wilshire had 18 digs.
ELK-POINT JEFFERSON 3, BERESFORD 1: Elk Point-Jefferson lost the first set 25-17 but bounced back by winning the next three sets 25-12, 25-15, 25-18 to advance to the SoDak 16.
The Huskies play again on Tuesday against a team yet to be determined. Beresford ends the season 22-13.
Riley Donnelly had 12 kills and Carlie Corder had 13 kills and three blocks. Kenna Currey had 10 kills and Sophia Kmpf had 45 assists.
Kylie Dressen and Jaycee Fischer each had 17 digs and Fischer had six kills. Molly Ebert had 11 assists, 16 digs and four aces and Summer Roekle had nine kills and 14 digs for Beresford.
BRIDGEWATER-EMERY 3, ALCESTER-HUDSON 0: Bridgewater-Emery ended Alcester-Hudson's season with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-22 sweep. Alcester-Hudson has an 11-19 record to end the season.
Lizzy Hallaway ahd 13 kills in the loss and Bayleigh Peterson had 20 assists and 11 digs.