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Aquinas Volleyball 9.3

Aquinas players Justine Beringer, left, and Aubrey Novacek go up for the block against Arlington earlier in the season. The Monarchs defeated East Butler during a triangular on Thursday.

David City, Aquinas, East Butler and Shelby-Rising City were in action on Tuesday and Thursday with each squad picking up at least one victory during the week. 

SEPT. 26

Aquinas Catholic def. East Butler, 25-17, 25-11: Lexi Haney led the Tigers with four kills. Monarch stats were unavailable.

"Against Aquinas the girls played hard on defense and cleaned up the service errors from the match with Friend, both of which allowed us to play with them for the better part of the first set," East Butler head coach Karmen Widick said. "Aquinas pulled away at the end and we never really got anything going in the second. We need to continue to work on moving on to the next point when something doesn't go our way. When we are able to do that, we compete much better and more consistently."

Aquinas Catholic def. Friend, 25-12, 25-9

David City def. Schuyler, 25-13, 25-11, 25-13: David City swept Schuyler in a home match. Maya Couch led the Scouts with 14 kills. 

East Butler def. Friend, 25-23, 25-15: Lexi Haney and Katie Haney both recorded six kills to help East Butler get a win.

"We got off to an extremely slow start against Friend but were able to come back to win the first set and then did a nice job of controlling the second set for a win," Widick said. "We had a balanced offense, which was nice to see. " 

Shelby/Rising City def. Dorchester, 25-22, 25-13: Reece Ingalls finished with 11 kills and two aces to power the Huskies to victory during a home triangular. 

Shelby/Rising City def. High Plains Community, 28-26, 25-16: Kamryn Pokorney tallied 13 kills to give the Huskies the win in the same triangular. 

SEPT. 24

Shelby/Rising City def. Nebraska Lutheran, 25-19, 25-22: S-RC won in a triangular at BDS in large part due to 10 kills from Jordie Nekl. 

"We never really got into a rhythm of hitting until the last match and last set against Nebraska Lutheran," S-RC head coach Makenzie Kuhnel said. "We started off struggling on serve receive and being sloppy but after our time out, we changed our groove. But the match against BDS was a good match to take from in terms of understanding how important it is to start strong off the bat and get in a consistent rhythm that we can work with.

"Going out and being aggressive and using the talent and skill we have is critical in all games. We served very aggressive all night forcing our serves towards weaker passers or in the seams forcing them to move on serve receive."  

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Grand Island Central Catholic def. Aquinas Catholic, 25-19, 25-18, 25-11: Aquinas was swept by the No. 2 team in Class C-2.

"GICC is the type of team that makes you pay for your own mistakes," Aquinas head coach Jody Pelan said in comments. "Our serve-receive game was weak, and we weren’t able to run much offense as a result. We don’t talk about pulling upsets. We just want to get better each day. The girls played hard and tried their best. They never just give up. We do have some fight in us."

Cross County def. David City, 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23: David City won one set against undefeated Cross County but couldn't spring the upset. Lauren Vandenberg led the Scouts with 16 kills.  

Emily Johnson and Behrns both served three aces while Vandenberg blocked a team-high three kills and Blum led the Scouts with 14 assists. 

Meridian def. East Butler, 25-9, 25-9, 25-8: East Butler was swept by Meridian after finishing with only eight total kills as a team. 

"I always try to find something positive to comment on after a match, but we didn't do anything well against Meridian," Widick said. "We only got to the service line 27 times in three sets, which indicates how little offense we had." 

"We were rarely able to get a decent attack because we passed so poorly. We have to do a better job of handling the ball on first contact if we expect to be in any matches. We play good defense, but we can't rely on the other teams to make mistakes."  

While the loss was tough, Widick believed it can be a valuable learning tool.

"Playing teams like Meridian gives us an opportunity to see the things we should be doing," she said. "They don’t let balls hit the floor, they get into position to play the ball aggressively every time, they communicate well and constantly. These are the things we talk about in practice and want the girls to do. They know they need to do it, and we see and hear it in practice, but they just aren’t getting it done during games. We continue to get some great digs on defense.  We don’t always convert the digs into offense, but at least we are keeping them alive." 

BDS def. Shelby/Rising City, 25-10, 25-23: S-RC lost to BDS in the same triangular. Pokorney finished with six kills and one ace. 

Nekl and Vrbka tallied seven digs apiece, and Vrabka led the Huskies with eight assists. 

Nekl led with 12 serve receptions in the back row.

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net

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