Lincoln North Star was missing setter Hannah Allick Tuesday night when the Gators played at Grand Island Senior High, but her twin sister took up the slack.
Sophomore Bekka Allick, playing on the outside rather than her usual spot as a middle blocker, had 16 kills and four ace blocks to lead North Star to a 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19 win over the Islanders in Grand Island’s Senior Night. It was G.I.’s final home match of the season.
Grand Island Senior High coach Bill Root said Hannah Allick is an important player for the Gators (8-17).
“She’s probably one of their best players,” Root said. “She played against us the first time. We didn’t have Lilly Reed the first time so that was a wash, but again the credit goes to North Star.”
The Gators had 13 ace serves for the match. Libero Delaney Warner led the way with four while Saylor Schaefer and Frankie Curren had three each and Audrey Skully two.
North Star had at least one serving run in each set it won, and even in the second set when the Gators lost. Schaefer served seven in a row early in the set for an 8-1 advantage.
But the Islanders (1-20) began to put some things together after that. Ella Beckstrom served four straight, including two aces, to help the Islanders take a 12-11 lead.
“We were just a little more consistent,” Root said. “We didn’t make errors. We usually keep the ball in play but we made a lot of hitting errors tonight. The set we won, we passed a lot better and we got the ball in play.”
And the serving helped the Islanders put the set away. An ace by Emma Hilderbrand later put the Islanders on set point at 24-21. A North Star hitting error ended the set.
“We live on the edge with the serve with the size of kids we have,” Root said. “When we’re on, we’re a hard serving team and score a lot of points. That’s part of serving tough.”
But North Star turned the tables on the Islanders in the final two sets to grab the victory. The Gators also beat G.I. 2-1 in the Lincoln Public Schools Classic on Sept. 21.
“We played them like that the first time,” Root said. “They beat us in a pretty close match actually. They beat us on runs, no doubt. At the beginning of the game, they had a run. In all three sets they had big runs. We didn’t have an answer for it.”
Anna McCoy led the Grand Island attack with 12 kills while Grace Johnson had seven. Emma Hilderbrand and Ella Beckstrom had five each.
Before the match, the Islanders honored seniors Tori Hale, Calyn Haubald, Hilderbrand, Johnson and McCoy.
The wins haven’t been there, but Root has enjoyed this season.
“Our seniors are great kids,” Root said. “This has been a fun year. They do a great job. All five of them are just great kids. I feel bad for them in terms of winning and losing, but we’re still pushing in practice.
“The season’s not over, so we’re going to give it our all.”
Lincoln NS (8-17) 25 22 25 25
Grand Island (1-20) 20 25 14 19
LINCOLN NS (Kills-aces-blocks) — Saylor Schaefer 4-2-4, Shelby Cain 0-3-0, Audrey Scully 1-2-0, Bekka Allick 16-0-4, Miranda Roth 3-0-1, Frankie Curren 2-0-1, Dakarai Davis 1-0-0, Kinsley Ragland 9-0-0, Delaney Warner 0-4-0.
GRAND ISLAND (Kills-aces-blocks) — Ella Beckstrom 5-2-0, Camaron Pfeifer 0-1-0, Anna McCoy 12-0-0, Grace Johnson 7-1-1, Tori Hale 0-1-0, Calyn Haubold 1-0-0, Jill Rose 0-1-0, Lilly Reed 4-0-0, Emma Hilderbrand 5-2-2, Emma Smith 0-0-0, Maddy Hill 0-0-0, Kaylee Hemingway 0-0-0, Kahlin Brown 0-0-0.
Set assists — Lincoln North Star: Brown 15. Grand Island: Hale 17, Pfeifer 9.