LINCOLN—In the third match of the season between Waverly and Northwest, Waverly prevailed once again beating Northwest 23-25, 25-8, 25-17, 25-7.
In the first round of the 2019 Nebraska Class B State volleyball tournament, No. 2 seeded Waverly held off the No. 7 seed Northwest and was able get into rhythm in the final three sets.
“We were really tight in the first set—when we switched sides we just needed to breathe,” Waverly head coach Terri Neujahr said.
The first set went back and forth, while Northwest was able to keep the set within three points, which was just enough as it ended the set with three straight kills.
“At the end of the first set, we did a good job of controlling our errors and our passers did really well,” Northwest head coach Lindsey Harders said. “We kept the ball in play and waited for them to make some errors. Being the underdog we didn’t have the pressure.”
In the second set and third sets, Waverly was able to get the ball cleanly to their hitters, which was all they needed as they found the gaps in the defense.
Whitney Lauenstein led all scorers for Waverly by breaking loose with 24 kills and she also had one block.
“We played free,” Lauenstein said.
Mackenzie Scurto and Mollie Grosshans combined for 20 kills while Atley Carey and Annika Evans combined for 12.
“After the first set, things got a lot better,” Neujahr said.
In the fourth set, Waverly went on an early 6-0 run and continued to roll as it finished the match on a 13-0 run.
“We’ve really worked hard on our serves in the last two weeks,” Neujahr said. “Hitting spots have been important eliminating errors.”
Seniors Whitney Brown and Lauren Hauser led Northwest with a combined eight kills and one ace.
“At the end of the season we were peaking at the right time,” Harders said.
Waverly will play again Friday against the winner of Sydney and Omaha Duchesne Academy while Northwest ends its season with a 21-14 record.
“We are young right now—I’m excited for next year,” Harders said. “It’s always bitter sweet when the season ends but when I look on the court and see sophomores and juniors returning, that will help us out tremendously.”