OMAHA — A balanced attack led by Elley Beaver’s 46 kills guided the Scotus Central Catholic volleyball team to a 6-0 record and the Gradoville Invite title at Omaha Bryan High School.
The Shamrocks posted a 3-0 record Friday, taking down Omaha Bryan (25-10, 25-8), Bellevue East (21-25, 25-14, 25-19) and Omaha North (25-20, 25-19).
On Saturday, Scotus finished pool play in the eight-team tournament with a 25-20, 25-11 win over Omaha Burke.
The Shamrocks took down Omaha Northwest (25-19, 25-12) in the semifinals to set up a rematch with Bellevue East. Scotus claimed the championship with a 25-21, 25-11 victory in the title match.
“We did a much better job with serve receive and defense this weekend, which allowed us to run a much better, balanced attack,” Scotus head coach Janet Tooley said.
The improved defense allowed the offense to utilize more hitters, Tooley said, something that didn't happen during her team's 1-2 showing a week earlier at the Shamrock Invite.
“The girls will agree that every area of the game we still have room for improvement, but we definitely did ball handle much better this weekend, gained some confidence there,” Tooley said. “Because of that, Abbie (Zoucha) was able to get the ball to a lot of different attackers.”
Four Shamrocks recorded more than 20 kills during the tournament, led by Beaver's 46. Bailey Lehr finished second on the team with 37 kills.
Shania Borchers made an impact on offense and defense. She had a team-best .396 hitting percentage while recording 21 kills and also led Scotus with nine blocks.
Courtney Kosch added 23 kills and tallied 32 digs.
Zoucha finished the tournament with 124 assists, and Kayla Hall had a team-leading 43 digs.
After starting the season 1-3, the Shamrocks' weekend performance pushes their record to 7-3 and has Tooley feeling confident about her team.
“I do have a lot of belief in the potential of this team. As I said, we definitely knew we had room to grow and this weekend did that,” she said.
Scotus hosts David City Aquinas on Tuesday before facing second-ranked Grand Island Central Catholic on the road Thursday.
“We jump back into the fire Tuesday and Thursday. Very short time for celebration, and then back to work,” Tooley said.