CENTRAL CITY — Nebraska Christian faced a tall task against Fullerton at its home triangular.
The Warriors featured the Plumbtree sisters in Hanna and Jordan, who are 6-3 and 6-0, respectively.
But the Class D-2 No. 6 Eagles were able to get the job done against the Warriors, winning the match 25-16, 25-20.
Grace Langemeier did most of the damage as she had 12 of the Eagles’ 19 kills against the taller Warriors. Nebraska Christian actually outblocked Fullerton 7-1.
“That might have been the tallest team we’ve faced this year,” Nebraska Christian coach Amy Schreiber said. “We were practicing how to hit against it this week, how to hit across and how to tool it off them. I was pleased with the blocks that we got on them along with the touches. It was good to see.”
What also helped Nebraska Christian against Fullerton was its serving. The Eagles had only four ace serves, but did just enough to disrupt the Warriors’ passing as they couldn’t get good passes to setter Teagan Gonisor, who had 13 set assists.
“Passing is one of our weaknesses and it showed,” Fullerton coach Megan Plumbtree said. “Once we can get a pass up to our hitters, especially Hanna and Jordan, we usually don’t have too many problems.”
It was Langemeier who made her presence known early as she had four early kills to put the Eagles up 10-3 and were never threatened in the first set. The 5-11 senior had seven kills in the opening frame.
The passing started well for the Warriors in the second set as the Plumbtrees connected on five early kills, three from Jordan and two from Hanna, to help give the Warriors a 12-9 lead.
But Nebraska Christian rallied to tie the match at 13-all then took the lead on a Tabitha Seip pass that fell in for a kill. Sidney McHargue served a 6-0 run to put the Eagles up 19-13. Fullerton did pull to within 24-20 on back-to-back ace serves from Jordan Plumbtree but a net violation ended the match.
Schrieber said Langemeier had a big night for the Eagles.
“She’s a smart player and getting better and better,” she said. “She is maturing so much from last year. She’s being a good leader for us and is helping the younger players.”
Jordan Plumbtree led the Warriors with nine kills, while Hanna chipped in seven.
Both teams defeated Spalding Academy before their matchup.
The Eagles opened the triangular with a 25-9, 25-8 win over the Shamrocks. Langemeier led the way with six kills, while Tabitha Seip added five kills and had eight ace serves. Shelby McHargue dished out 14 set assists. Grace Glaser had two kills for Spalding Academy.
Fullerton posted a 25-9, 25-15 win over the Shamrocks in the second match. Hanna Plumbtree pounded down nine kills, while Jordan had eight kills, two ace serves and three blocks. Brooke Keber led Spalding Academy with four kills.
Schrieber said she was pleased to go 2-0 on the night at the home triangular.
“We did some good things tonight,” she said. “We still have a lot to clean up as I don’t think the match with Fullerton was our best match and I was still happy with what I saw from the girls.”