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NCMS Wins the OTL Volleyball Tournament

By: Taryn Ganstrom and Savannah Engelken

By Ganstrom, Taryn

October 14, 2016

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    The Nemaha Central Middle School hosted the Oregon Trail League Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, October 8. NCMS went into the tournament in the third seed, with Wetmore seeded second and Frankfort as the number one seed. The Thunder played their first pool play match against the Onaga Buffaloes. The girls were very excited to get the day going with their first match of the OTL tournament. The first set started out great for the Thunder. The Thunder got the first few points without much effort. When the Thunder got close to the end of the set, they let the Onaga Buffaloes get a few points. The Thunder quickly redeemed themselves and won the first set, 25-13. In the second set, the NC volleyball team ended the match with the same score, 25-13.


    The girls were very excited to have won their first match of OTL. After the match, the NC team had a small break before playing the Saints Peter and Paul Trojans. Playing their town team rival for the second time of the season was bound to be a battle to the end. The Thunder let the Trojans get a few points ahead to start the set off, but quickly the Thunder caught up and took over the set. The NC girls battled to the end defeating the Trojans in the first set, 25-22. After the first set win, the Thunder played with more confidence winning the second set, 25-16, giving the Thunder their second pool play win.


    There was another break before the last match of pool play against the Wetmore Cardinals. The Thunder girls had a great match against the Cardinals. They were all working together really well and they won the set, 25-12. In the second set, the girls had more fantastic plays and ended the set, 25-19, keeping the Thunder undefeated and giving them the first place seed of their pool going into the tournament.


    The Thunder volleyball team got an hour break before playing Doniphan West in the semi finals. The girls played excellent in the first set and with Taryn Ganstrom's 8 serves in a row, the Nemaha Central Thunder won the set, 25-6.  In the second set, the Doniphan West Mustangs gave the Thunder some more competition and made them try even harder to get the win. The Thunder beat the Mustangs in a close second set with a score of 25-22, sending the NC Thunder volleyball team to the championship match.


    In the Championship match, the Thunder played against the Frankfort Wildcats. It was a very intense game and the girls were anxious to see how it would end. The first set was very energetic. There were many great rallies against the Wildcats and then the Thunder overpowered the Wildcats and won the set, 25-19.  Winning the first set got them that much closer to the title of OTL Champions. The second set was even more intense. The Thunder serving kept the team up on the Wildcats.  Hannah Macke had 2 runs of serves in the match.  She served 8 points in a row early in the set and then was put on the spot at the end of the match.  Macke went back to serve at 18-12.  Her powerful serve was difficult for the Wildcats to return as they cruised to the victory with Macke serving out the set, 25-12.  OTL Champs was chanted as the final ball dropped!

    "I went back to serve confidentially because I had faith and trust in my team," said Macke, eighth grade.

    The girls shook the Wildcat girls’ hands and ran back to their coaches and started screaming and crying with joy. The girls were awarded the League Champion medals for the tournament.  This was the third year in a row that the NC Thunder has won the OTL League Championship. 

    "We have worked so hard this year and it has all paid off in the end," said Riley Rottinghaus, eighth grade.

    "I was very impressed on how well the girls played. We never had to go into three sets and that is tough to do at the OTL tournament. Their goal at the beginning of the year was to win OTL. They worked hard every practice and they achieved their goal," said Coach Nikki Honeyman.

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