PINNACLE BANK ARENA, SEMIFINAL FRIDAY — Yesterday, given all the chalk, we thought Friday might bring us some epic semifinals. The athletes at The Bank didn’t disappoint us.
Top seeds Elkhorn South (Class A) and Lutheran High Northeast (Class C-2) need a fifth set to advance to the finals and St. Paul also won a five-set thriller over Lincoln Lutheran in a championship rematch from last year.
We had so much fun, in fact, that the late matches were still going at 10:30. No rest for the weary, eh? Bring on those finals tomorrow. Also, here is the all-class bracket.
Headed South: For as topsy-turvy as Class A was last year, it’s a little more mild in 2020 as top-seeds Elkhorn South and Papillion-LaVista South both advanced to the finals. Papio South will try for a repeat (they were the 7th seed last year) and the Storm are looking for their first state championship.
She Said It: “It’s a dream come true in your senior year to go the state championship. We’ve worked hard all season, and we always talk about peaking at the right time. … I think we’re slowly peaking right now.” — Elkhorn South senior Rylee Gray
On The Other Hand: Omaha Skutt’s quest for history on Saturday will be for a record-tying sixth consecutive state championship. The Skyhawks have made quick work of Grand Island Northwest and Ashland-Greenwood en route to a finals appearance against Norris who moved to 29-4 in a sweep of Elkhorn.
She Said It: “She’s just strong. She can play defense, she can serve-receive. The kid can do it all. And she might be one of the nicest kids I know.” — Skutt coach Renee Saunders on Nebraska recruit Lindsay Krause
Double Perfect: Most had hoped for it most of the year, but it’s takes a lot of practice and work to make it happen. Yet, here we are on Saturday afternoon with unbeatens Wahoo and St. Paul meeting in the Class C-1 championship game. Both teams are 34-0. Wahoo swept Lakeview and St. Paul needed a 5-set thriller to get past defending champion Lincoln Lutheran.
She Said It: “We just have each other’s back so I was confident but we’ve done it before and knew it wasn’t impossible. Once we started to get on a roll, we got our energy back and felt that this was our moment.” — St. Paul libero Paige Lukasiewicz
The Class C Gram:
Eagles Survive: The match of the day had to come in Class C-2 where top-ranked and one-loss Lutheran High Northeast survived fifth-seed Clarkson/Leigh in a 17-15 fifth set on a ace serve by Halle Berner. Think they know their opponent well enough? It’s cross-town mate Norfolk Catholic, who lost the opening set to Overton, but rolled through the next three.
She Said It: “When it was all on the line, our team kept battling. I’m so proud of our girls.” — Lutheran High Northeast coach Kathy Gebhardt
Oh, I Remember You: They may not admit it, but the girls at Pleasanton and Fremont Bergan have developed a little rivalry over the last 24 months. It will continue in Saturday’s Class D-1 championship game. Pleasanton’s last loss — in any sport — was in the 2019 volleyball semifinals to Bergan. Bergan also held an upper hand in the 2018 semifinals when they won the state title. Last March, however, the Dawgs ripped through an undefeated basketball season beating Bergan in the finals.
She Said It: “That loss in the final last year has really driven us. We want to get that feeling again.” — Fremont Bergan senior, Lauren Baker
Familar Spot: Diller-Odell earned their second straight trip to a state final on Friday morning by sweeping Falls City Sacred Heart and winning for the fifth time in six tries this season. Their opponent — Chambers/Wheeler Central — did the same, sweeping unbeaten Maywood-Hayes Center who came in to Friday unbeaten and with just two lost sets all season. The finals match will feature to big swingers: Karlie Heidemann had 18 kills for D-O and Morgan Ramsey had 26 for CWC.
She Said It: “Shocker. I am a little bit in shock. I think Maywood is a healthy opponent. Our girls came to play today. I am so happy for them. We said all along we were going to come down here on a mission. They are here for a purpose, they are not on vacation. We got more in us, I believe we do.” — CWC head coach Diane Kasselder
The Class D Brackets:
The D1 and D2 finals are set.
— Striv Sports (@strivsports) November 6, 2020
Class D Gram: