DAVID CITY – The Mead Raider volleyball team opened postseason play with a pair of straight set wins in Class C2-2 sub-district play in West Point.
The Raiders opened the tournament with a 25-15, 30-28 and 25-16 win over conference rival Yutan on Oct. 28.
The top-seeded Raiders didn’t have an easy time with the Chieftains.
“It’s never easy to beat a team for a second time, especially a rival in the postseason,” said Mead Coach Keshia Havelka.
The Raiders breezed to a 25-15 victory in set one, but struggled with serve receive in the second set and the Chieftains pushed them to the limit before losing 30-28.
“I wasn’t pleased we were in the tight situation, but I was pleased with how we played those last seven points,” Havelka added.
Mead tightened up their passing in set three and was able to win comfortably 25-16. Sophomore Demmy Patocka served seven straight points, featuring three aces to help the Raiders pull away in set three.
Demmy and older sister Delaney led the Raiders defensively while combining for 29 digs.
Senior Abby Miller and sophomore Bri Lemke led the offense, each finishing with 11 kills. Junior Becca Halbmaier and Delaney Patocka added nine and eight kills respectively.
Sophomore Emily Quinn handed out 36 set assists.
Raider Emily Oldenburg was a force at the net defensively finishing with 3.5 blocks.
The win put the Raiders into the sub-district championship match against Oakland-Craig.
Mead used a strong attack to get past the Knights by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-20.
The Raiders finished with 13 kills in the first set and got an 11-point serving run from Quinn to start the second set.
Mead built a 16-3 lead in set two.
Oakland-Craig was able to take an 18-15 lead in set three, but a serving flurry from Delaney Patocka got the Raiders back in front 23-19 and they were able to close out the match in three sets.
“We were missing serves when their best hitter was in the back row. We made their job too easy,” said Havelka.
Delaney Patocka led the Raiders at the net offensively, finishing with 12 kills. Lemke and Halbmaier combined for 18 more.
Quinn finished with 30 set assists, nine digs and four ace serves.
Demmy Patocka led the way defensively with 19 digs while Lemke added 16 more.
The win advanced the Raiders into one of the eight Class C-2 district final matches.
The Raiders squared off against Wisner-Pilger at David City High School on Nov. 2.
The Raiders struggled with their serve receive all afternoon and it resulted in a four set loss at the hands of the Gators 20-25, 26-24, 18-25 and 23-25.
“Unfortunately, for the first time this season our serve receive pass was inconsistent through the entire match and we never really got our hitters in a place where they could be successful,” said Havelka.
The Raiders trailed 2-1, but were ahead 20-16 in the fourth set before The Gators ran off three straight points to cut the lead to 20-19.
“I think at that moment we lost confidence in our play. The stress of the season ending started to creep in their heads and we couldn’t make plays that we needed to make,” added Havelka.
The Raiders were led at the net by Halbmaier, Lemke and Miller as the trio combined for 29 kills.
Quinn handed out 33 set assists and finished with 700 for the season.
Delaney Patocka paced the defense with 22 digs while sister Demmy added 12 more.
Miller and Delaney Patocka, the two Raider seniors, will graduate in May with 74 career volleyball wins to their credit.
The Raiders finish with a record of 23-2 on the year.