LINCOLN— In a rematch from Oct. 28, the Giltner Hornets couldn’t get into rhythm as they fell to a powerful Lawrence-Nelson Raiders’ attack 25-10, 25-8 and 25-14.
In the opening match of the 2019 Nebraska Class D-2 State volleyball tournament at Lincoln Northeast, No. 1 seeded Lawrence-Nelson took care of business as it didn’t let No. 8 Giltner get anything going.
“This set of girls this year haven’t been here before, it was all new to them,” Lawrence-Nelson head coach Jamie Lay said. “We focused on playing in the moment—we knew we had to come out fresh and we started with point one.”
Lawrence-Nelson used a combination of serves against the Hornets, going from the jump serve to a standing still serve, which allowed them to have seven aces throughout the match.
The Raiders started from the service line and didn’t let Giltner get into a clean set.
“We are not a tall team by any means—serving and defense have to win us games,” Lay said. “The tempo we set has to push the other team and we used that in our benefit.”
Karigan Drudik led the Raiders with eight kills and four aces, while Taylor Harrington and Emma Epley led the way with 14 combined kills.
On the other side, the Hornets had high expectations coming into the match and the state tournament but they couldn’t get on top of the Raiders. They didn’t have a lead at any point in the match.
“It’s a tough game but it wasn’t because of lack of effort,” Giltner head coach Jeanie Good said. “We just couldn’t quite get into system and do what we wanted to do.”
Lawrence-Nelson had a 10-0 run in the first and the second set but it was the Hornets who showed the fight and battled back in the third set.
“We fought all year—if we could have changed the momentum and get going then anything could happen,” Good said. “It was a battle to get any momentum.”
Giltner tied Lawrence-Nelson at 5-5 in the third set but the Raiders ran away with the 25-14 win.
Lawrence-Nelson will play again Friday against the winner of the Garden County and Humphrey St. Francis match in the semifinals.
Giltner ends the season with a 21-11 record. The Hornets lose Sydney Janzen, Lacey Hoffman, Hannah Preissler, Amanda Whisenand, Kaley Ballard, Cassidy Tompkin and Payton Hunnicutt to graduation.
“We lose a great senior group—a lot of experience and four year starters,” Good said. “We took a lot of experience and inexperience, mixed it and had a pretty good season.”