GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — That team is going back to the state final once again.
Columbus Scotus will play in the championship match for the 22nd time — more than any other school — after sweeping Ogallala 26-24, 25-21, 25-22 in a Class C-1 semifinal Friday at the state volleyball tournament. The 25-3 Shamrocks will seek their 16th title in the 8:30 p.m. final Saturday at the Heartland Events Center.
Longtime coach John Petersen said a 22nd trip was even difficult for him to comprehend.
“How can you imagine that would happen?’’ he said. “I give a lot of credit to my assistants and to the girls for buying into our system.’’
The Indians, trying to reach the final for the eighth time, battled in all three sets. But when it mattered most, it was the Shamrocks who scored late points to salt away each of those sets.
“Our goal is to play with the best teams, and we did that tonight,’’ coach Steve Morgan said. “Our kids are sad, but I’m really proud of the way we battled.’’
The first set was tied at 23 and again at 24 before the Shamrocks put it away. Payton Chohon pounded a kill and a shot by Ogallala’s Kendall Schroer failed to clear the net.
Scotus led 16-9 in the second set before the Indians went on a 10-3 run to tie it on a kill by Morgan Reed. But the Shamrocks once again finished strong and won 25-21 on a kill by Alyssa Foltz.
Scotus pulled away late in the third set, opening up a 24-18 advantage. Ogallala fought off four match points before Lauran Hellbusch finally ended it with a kill.
“It’s never easy with us,’’ Petersen said. “But it feels good to be playing for the title.’’
Hellbusch led Scotus with 17 kills while Chohon added 16 and Alyssa Foltz 11. Setter Kara Moore dished out 41 assists.
Reed had 12 kills to pace Ogallala while Schroer had 11 and Sidney Mell 10.
The Indians (28-11) will play in a consolation match Saturday at noon at Grand Island Northwest.
Ogallala (28-11) ................. 24 21 22
At Columbus Scotus (25-3) ................. 26 25 25
O (kills-aces-blocks): Kendall Schroer 11-0-2, Sidney Mell 10-1-2, Morgan Reed 12-0-0, Brooke Robertson 1-1-0, Shelby Welsh 2-0-0, Ciara Voycheske 0-1-0.
CS: Kara Moore 1-0-0, Lauran Hellbusch 17-0-0, Alyssa Foltz 11-2-1, Carley Foltz 5-0-0, Emily Kosch 2-0-0, Maeghan Pieper 2-0-0, Payton Chohon 16-1-2.
Set assists: O 32 (Robertson 31, Voycheske 1); CS 46 (Moore 41, C. Foltz 4, Chohon 1).
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