LINCOLN – A pair of the hottest teams in Class C-2 met up at Lincoln Southwest High School in the opening round of the Nebraska State Volleyball Championships on Nov. 7.
The Lutheran High Northeast Eagles, winners of 22 out of their last 23 matches outlasted the Bishop Neumann Cavaliers in four sets 25-17, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-18.
The Cavaliers entered Thursday’s match with a 10-game win streak.
The first set was tied at eight, before the Eagles were able to take control of the match.
The Neumann serve receive broke down and the Eagles were able to build leads of 12-8 and 19-14. The 19th point came on an ace block against Cavalier 6-1 sophomore standout Kali Jurgensmeier.
Neumann never got closer than five points in the first set loss.
The Cavaliers fell behind early in the second set, but rallied behind a strong serve from sophomore Lauren Thiele. Thiele served eight straight to put the Cavaliers on top 17-13.
The Cavaliers had two set points before finally closing out the Eagles 25-22 in set two.
The teams traded points in set three before the Eagles were able to put together a run, putting them on top 11-7.
Bishop Neumann Coach Brandi Sladky called a timeout and the Cavaliers responded.
The Cavaliers rallied behind a strong block and took a 16-15 lead.
The Eagles came back behind a strong serve and kept Neumann out of rhythm on their way to scoring seven of the last eight points of the third set to win 25-20.
The Cavaliers battled to extend the match to a fifth set. The Cavaliers won a long rally and cut the Eagle lead to 14-12 midway through the fourth set.
The LHNE lead got to 16-12 before the Cavaliers rallied again behind kills from Jurgensmeier and senior Lindsey Thiele. The Cavalier hitters drew Neumann to within one point at 19-18.
Unfortunately for the Cavs they wouldn’t score again and LHNE closed out the match with a 25-18 fourth set win.
Jurgensmeier and Lindsey Thiele combined to finish with 34 of the Cavaliers 45 kills.
Jurgensmeier also piled up 30 digs and teamed with senior Emily Coufal (24 digs) to lead the back row charge.
Sophomore Lauren Thiele played well for the Cavaliers, filling up the stat sheet with 34 set assists, 12 digs and a team-leading three ace serves.
The Cavaliers finished the season with a record of 25-10.