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The Lakeview Vikings volleyball team got off to a strong start in the Central Nebraska Conference Tournament, going 2-0 in the first day of pool play on Thursday.

Lakeview defeated York 25-13 and 25-17 in two sets and Adams Central in three sets 25-19, 17-25 and 25-23.

Abby Kapels had 28 kills on the evening to lead the Vikings.

"We served well, and played good defense," said head coach K.C. Belitz. "Abby had a nice night. In both of those matches, our outsides just had good matchups, and we knew that on the game plan that they were. They were probably in the position that where both Emily and Abby were going to be able to be successful. Reese did a nice job of putting both of them in places where they could be successful, and Abby hit it pretty hard. She hit it pretty hard consistently tonight."

Belitz gave high praise to Adams Central after the match.

"Adam Central is far better than their record indicates," he said. "That is a quality volleyball team. They have two great hitters and they play as good of defense as anyone we'll see. We knew that coming in ..."

Adam Central gave Lakeview everything it could handle in the second and third sets.

"There was a whole lot that went on in that second set," Belitz said. "Brittany Stock got an elbow and just started bleeding all over the floor, and so she's out early in the second set. You have that going, you have a long delay, you lose your middle. It's hard mentally to get your way through that, and then we had a rotation error that's entirely my fault because we're doing things differently because Brittany is gone and I just lost track of that so that one is totally on me."

After dropping the second set, Lakeview was able to get Stock back for the third.

"Thank goodness the training staff got the bleeding stopped and we got Brittany back out there for the start of the third, which was a big deal," Belitz said. "It wasn't during the middle of the set or anything, we got to start like it was starting fresh, but even having said that, we were down 17-22 in that third set, and that's a pretty big hill to climb. Throughout those last nine points, we just played as good of a sellout defense as you can play. We made some crazy defensive plays to keep the ball off the ground. Fortunately, Brittney was front row at that moment, and she delivered several times, Abby did as well, and then Emily Van Cleave rotated to the front row."

Belitz also gave high praise to Van Cleave for her performance during the third set.

"Emily (Van Cleave) probably made the defensive play of the night at 23-23, somehow just laid out and kept the ball off the ground, and she just happens to pop it straight up on top of the net, and Brittany put it down,” he said. "It was quite the atmosphere over those last few points."

Lakeview didn't play on Friday, but has two games left in pool play Saturday at Adams Central and then will go on to play one more game in the conference tournament. The Vikings play Crete first and then Aurora.

Scotus vs. Wahoo Neumann

Shamrocks dropped a four-set match Thursday night to No. 2 Bishop Neumann 25-23, 25-17, 21-25 and 25-23.

Despite the loss head coach Janet Tooley said that the Shamrocks played well the whole match.

"We were right there the whole match," she said. "It was one our best played matches of the season, maybe saw one of the longest volleyball rallies that I've seen in quite a few years."

Tooley gave credit to Neumann especially Kelsi Cada who tallied 17 kills against Scotus.  

"You can't take anything away from Neumann," she said. "They're a very solid team but obviously Kelsie Cada can do a ton of damage by herself. She just has a very fast, exceptional arm swing, if shes gets a perfect set, then she can go right over you're block even if it's set where you want it to be."  

The Shamrocks next game is 7 p.m. Tuesday against Hastings St. Cecilia. 

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com

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