Published On: Wed, Nov 2nd, 2011

Laurel eliminates Cedar from mini State Tny

WAYNE — The schedule read first-round Class C2-6 SubDistricts, but it should have read C2 State Tournament.
For the second year in a row, three of the state’s best Class C2 teams faced off in the same SubDistrict.
And for the second year in a row, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge defeated Cedar in a highly charged contest for the right to take on top-seeded defending state champion Lutheran High Northeast in the SubDistrict title game.

“It is unfortunate that this match happened in Wayne because there was some quality volleyball being played. The level of intensity of that match will meet or exceed what happens in Grand Island in a week and half,” Cedar Catholic Coach Adam Kuntz said after the game.
Even though they have been bounced from the SubDistrict Tourney, Cedar still has a chance of ending up in the State Tournament.
LCC beat Cedar in last year’s game, but the Lady Trojans still managed to earn a state berth with the wildcard. Cedar then went on to work its way to the state championship game before falling to state champion Lutheran High NE.
The Lady Trojans have a shot at the wildcard once again. Cedar is currently sixth in NSAA Power Points, while Lutheran High Northeast is first and Laurel-Concord/Coleridge is seventh.
Cedar and Laurel battled point for point to start Monday’s contest.
A big Lexi Steffen kill eventually gave the Lady Trojans a 9-8 lead and started a 10-4 run by Cedar to give the Big Red a 20-12 advantage.
LCC rebounded with a 7-5 run of its own, but it wasn’t enough as Cedar earned the 25-19 first-set win thanks to a Bear hitting error.
The Lady Bears grabbed the momentum in the second set and kept it to earn 25-16 and 25-20 wins in the second and third set.
The Black and Orange started the fourth set with a 6-1 run, but a Cedar time out helped the Lady Trojans regroup. A pair of Lexi Steffen kills then helped Cedar rip off a 6-1 run to knot the contest at 7-7. A pair of Jade Cunningham kills gave the Lady Bears a two-point lead. The Black and Orange extended the lead to four points, 15-11, with a pair of Amy Pritchard kills and a Jade Cunningham ace serve.
Laurel hitting errors and a huge  Erin Hochstein kill helped Cedar erase the deficit, knotting the score at 17-17.
Cunningham and Pritchard’s strong net play again helped Laurel increase its lead to three points, 21-18.
Cedar earned the 25-23 come-from-behind win with a 7-3 run keyed by a pair of LCC net serves, two Kaitlyn Dickes kills and a block, as well as kills from Lexi Steffen and Siera Becker.
LCC started the fifth set with momentum on its side, as well.
A big Mandy Nelson kill allowed LCC to jump out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth set.
Cedar refused to throw in the towel, though, working their way back into the game before finally pulling to withing one point, 13-12, on a huge  Karly Noecker ace serve. But Laurel-Concord/Coleridge’s career kills leader — Amy Pritchard — had back-to-back kills to slam the door on Cedar.
Pritchard led LCC at the net in the contest with 24 kills. Cedar’s offense was paced by a balanced attack as Lexi Steffen slammed home 12 and Erin Hochstein and Karly Noecker each had 11 kills.
LCC Coach Patti Cunningham knew her team was in for a battle against Cedar.
“Cedar Catholic has played great ball all year, so we knew they were going to keep coming. We had to make sure that we felt confident enough to finish the plays and finish the game.”
Kuntz is proud of the way his team kept bouncing back.
“Our girls never gave in, even when things on our side of the net were falling apart at times. I am proud of the way they responded,” Kuntz said.
No matter what happens, now, Kuntz is very proud of the effort his team put in this year — an effort that surprised many fans.
“Many people wanted to call this a rebuilding year, but 23-8 is far better than a rebuilding year. I am very excited about what happend this year and we all have our fingers crossed that this season is not over yet,” Coach Kuntz said.
LCC     19        25    25    23    15
Cedar    25        16    20    25    12

KILLS – LCC – Jade Cunningham, 25; Amy Pritchard, 24; Mandy Nelson, 13; Dani Huss, 2; Taylor Linn, 2; Kiley Thompson, 2. Cedar – Lexi Steffen, 12; Erin Hochstein, 11; Karly Noecker, 11; Katelyn Dickes, 10; Siera Becker, 5.

SET ASSISTS – LCC – Mandy Nelson, 31; Jade Cunningham, 29; Taylor Linn, 2; Dani Huss, 1; Audrey Kastrup, 1. Cedar – Emily Schrempp, 39; Katelyn Dickes, 3; Karly Noecker, 1; Lexi Steffen, 1.

SOLO BLOCKS – Mandy Nelson, 3; Jade Cunningham, 2; Amy Pritchard, 2. Cedar – Lexi Steffen, 5; Katelyn Dickes, 5; Erin Hochstein, 2.

ACE SERVES – Jade Cunningham, 5; Mandy Nelson, 2; Cameron Eddie, 1; Kiley Thompson, 1. Cedar – Katelyn Dickes, 2; Morgan Steffen, 1; Karly Noecker, 1.

DIGS – Audrey Kastrup, 22; Amy Pritchard, 14; Kiley Thompson, 12; Jade Cunningham, 11; Mandy Nelson, 7; Taylor Linn, 2; Erin Gubbels, 1; Dani Huss, 1. Cedar – Emily Schrempp, 15; Kate Dickes, 9; Kallie Leise, 7; Karly Noecker, 5; Siera Becker, 3; Liz Steffen, 2; Morgan Steffen, 1.