Columbus High volleyball punched its ticket for the district round Tuesday night at home sweeping both Schuyler and Blair in a four-team tournament that also included South Sioux City.
The Discoverers took down Schuyler in three sets without allowing the Warriors to score more than 10 points in any one set then took on Blair after the Bears defeated the Cardinals in five and earned a quick victory in the nightcap.
“Volleyball is such a momentum sport. It’s really, who’s going to show up? Thankfully, we were that team tonight. We showed up and we did what we were supposed to do,” coach Jeri Otten said.
“We started to make a few errors in a few stretches against Blair, but we did a good job winning every mini-game to five, first to 10, first to 15 and so on. I think keeping the focus there between some of those errors helped us make sure we came through with the result we wanted.”
Class B teams across the state competed Tuesday at eight different sub-district locations with the tournament champions moving on to Saturday's district round.
The next eight teams in the wildcard points standings will advance as well and be seeded based on that number once all the results are posted.
The higher seed hosts Saturday's district title match with a trip to the state tournament on the line.
Columbus entered the night 13-16 and having lost three straight to three ranked opponents to end the regular season. CHS won the Greater Nebraska Conference championship prior to ending on the late-season skid.
Tuesday none of that mattered when the Discoverers jumped out to a 10-2 lead on Schuyler in set one and made that a 20-4 advantage before finishing off the win on kills by Jaidyn Garrett and Lauren Benck for a 25-10 victory.
Columbus led 9-3 in the second behind a stretch of eight points in nine rallies. That prompted a timeout from Schuyler but did little to slow the momentum.
CHS added five more before Schuyler ended the run. The Warriors began to play on more even terms with the Discoverers for the rest of the set but couldn't dig out of the huge hole and went down 2-0 on a 25-10 Columbus win.
The hosts put the sweep in motion in set three with the first three points and a 9-5 lead. Schuyler continued the tough play it found at the end of set two until Columbus went on the deciding run with an 11-7 lead.
Kills by Lauren Benck, Ava Newman, Laura Czarnik, Garrett, two aces from Brooke Benck and four Schuyler errors finished off the win.
Columbus took a 2-0 lead in the sub-district final against Blair thanks to six kills by Garrett in the first set. The Discoverers led for the entire set in what was a back-and-forth affair until CHS won 10 of 15 points in the middle of the set.
Blair led 4-3 early in the second set but soon found itself behind 10-7. It was a 17-14 set when Columbus won eight of 10 behind three kills and an ace from Benck, a kill by Jaleigh Adams-Tuls and three Bair errors.
The beginning of the third was another even affair until a 9-4 Columbus lead stretched to 17-9 on more aces from Brooke Benck, kills from Adams-Tuls, Newman kill and Sarah Micek block.
A kill and an ace by Garrett made it a 10-point difference at 22-12, Garrett served up another ace, Adams-Tuls blocked a Blair shot to the floor and Czarnik ended the night with a kill.
Lauren Benck led with 10 kills against Schuyler, Brooke Benck had 15 assists and Garrett 12, Brooke Benck also had eight aces and Kylie Wisehart put together nine digs.
“I thought Lauren Benck did a really good job all around,” Otten said. “Passing, hitting, she just had a really good night.”
Garrett was the offensive star in the win over Blair with 13 kills, Brooke Benck set up 19 assists while Garrett had 13, Garrett and Lauren Benck each had three aces and Bench was tops defensively with 12 kills.
District matchups will likely be set on Wednesday. Columbus looks to be a 15 or 16 seed based on the wildcard points standings at the end of the night.
To get to state the Discoverers will have to travel and win on the road at places such as No. 1 Elkhorn South, No. 2 Omaha Duchesne or No. 3 Omaha Skutt.
“I think it’s just keeping the focus on winning those mini-games for us and just working through it when things aren’t going our way,” Otten said. “We know Saturday, we probably won’t win every game to five. But if we can win the last game to five, that’s all that matters."
Alliance def. Scottsbluff, 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 (3-0)
Archbishop B def. O Christian A, 25-16, 25-15, 25-9 (3-0)
Ashland-G def. O Brownell T, 25-17, 25-15, 25-16 (3-0)
BDS def. Exeter-M, 25-23, 19-25, 25-16, 25-21 (3-1)
Blair def. South SC, 25-22, 25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 15-8 (3-2)
Bridgeport def. Bayard, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18 (3-0)
Columbus def. Blair, 25-17, 25-16, 25-12 (3-0)
Columbus def. Schuyler, 25-10, 25-10, 25-7 (3-0)
Falls CSH def. Mead, 26-24, 25-16, 25-21 (3-0)
Garden C def. S Platte, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 (3-0)
GICC def. Minden, 25-14, 25-12, 25-15 (3-0)
Hartington CC def. Ponca, 25-15, 25-16, 25-13 (3-0)
Hartington-H def. N Central, 25-6, 25-16, 25-21 (3-0)
Humphrey St. F def. Riverside, 25-15, 25-12, 25-19 (3-0)
Humphrey/LHF def. Nebraska C, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19 (3-1)
Kenesaw def. Hampton, 25-21, 25-20, 25-11 (3-0)
Lincoln L def. Malcolm, 25-16, 25-11, 25-11 (3-0)
McCook def. Lexington, 25-17, 25-18, 25-18 (3-0)
Meridian def. Heartland, 25-20, 25-20, 26-24 (3-0)
Mullen def. Anselmo-M, 25-16, 25-21, 25-23 (3-0)
Norris def. Crete, 25-8, 25-13, 25-10 (3-0)
N Platte def. Holdrege, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15 (3-0)
Ogallala def. Chase C, 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 (3-0)
O Duchesne A def. O Gross C, 25-14, 25-16, 25-13 (3-0)
O Duchesne A def. Ralston, 25-13, 25-14, 25-11 (3-0)
O Gross C def. O Mercy, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 (3-1)
Overton def. Axtell, 25-21, 26-24, 24-26, 25-17 (3-1)
Platteview def. Plattsmouth, 15-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-15 (3-1)
Pleasanton def. Central V, 25-13, 25-15, 25-17 (3-0)
Seward def. Beatrice, 25-19, 25-20, 32-30 (3-0)
Stanton def. Clarkson/L, 25-17, 25-18, 26-24 (3-0)
Superior def. Thayer C, 25-23, 25-13, 25-21 (3-0)
Syracuse def. Fairbury, 25-18, 26-24, 25-20 (3-0)
Waverly def. Nebraska C, 25-5, 25-7, 25-7 (3-0)
West Point-B def. N Bend C, 22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12 (3-2)
Wisner-P def. Guardian ACC, 25-19, 25-16, 18-25, 25-20 (3-1)