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NCMS Volleyball Champions in Axtell Tournament

By: Ella Larkin & Kyndall Sextro

September 23, 2018

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It was the morning of September 8, and eight teams were lined up in the Axtell High School ready to play in a volleyball tournament.  This tournament included teams from the Oregon Trail League along with the Nemaha Central Middle School volleyball team.  The NC Thunder girls played Frankfort first in pool play. Even though it was quite early for the Thunder team to be up on a Saturday, they played a great first set, winning 25-13 and closed out the second set with the same score 25-13. After the win, the Thunder team headed off to a different gym ready to compete against the next team.

Their next opponent was the Axtell Eagles. The Thunder, still on a roll from the game before, carried it out onto the court for this game as well, winning the first set 25-9. The second set was a little bit closer in score until Gracyn Lierz came in with a sixteen point serving streak, giving the Thunder team another set win, 25-8.

The next game was the final game in pool play, and the Thunder had to challenge Onaga. Onaga was a scrappy team when the Thunder had last seen them play, but the Thunder were hitting kills left and right. The Onaga Buffaloes didn’t really have a chance in the match as the Thunder team cruised through with a score of 25-7 and 25-8.

Pool-play was over with, and out of the four teams in the Thunder’s pool, Frankfort, Axtell, and Onaga, the NC placed first, meaning that they would play the second place team from the other pool. Out of the other pool, Doniphan West, Valley Heights, Saints Peter and Paul, and Wetmore, Doniphan West placed second while the SPPS Trojans took first.

All teams took a break and then prepared to start tournament play. It was the NC Thunder team versus the Doniphan West Mustangs to see who would make it to the championship. The Thunder, with moving to a new league, hadn’t seen the Mustangs play since the year before so they didn’t know what to expect. The Thunder team didn’t let the unknown rattle them as they finished the first set with a score of 25-9. Continuing with their high level of play the Thunder girls took the second set as well, winning 25-10.   

“It was fun to watch and the Thunder team did amazing,” said manager, Jillian Stueve.

After the win over the Mustangs, the Thunder were ready for the championship game. The game many teams hope to reach but only two succeed. In this case, the teams happened to be the NC Thunder and the SPPS Trojans. The Thunder team facing more of a challenge then they had all day, had a closer set with the Trojans, winning the first set 25-18. The second set took the Thunder for a ride. They didn’t have any fears about who would win the set until they looked at the scoreboard and they were down 24-20. The Thunder girls started to get worried knowing they couldn’t make a mistake. Lilly Schultejans was ready for the challenge as she headed back to the serving line. Lilly served two aces and the Trojans made a few mistakes that helped the Thunder team make an amazing comeback win in the last set, 26-24. That was it, no third game as the Thunder had won!

“We worked very hard to win all of our matches and it came to the championship game. We were tired, however, we pulled through and won,” said Lacie Young.

Leaving the Axtell gym with smiles on their faces, the Thunder team was pumped and looking forward to the rest of the season to come.


 

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