LINCOLN — Humphrey St. Francis fell a little short in the opening round of the Class D2 state volleyball tournament here at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday morning.
The Flyers won the opening set of what turned out to be a four-set match 25-23 before dropping three straight to Falls City Sacred Heart 25-15, 25-22 and 25-23.
"They were a great defensive team," St. Francis coach Tammy Classen said. "They reacted to a lot of shots that were usually winners for us so that was a huge adjustment."
Classen was sitting in for head coach Dean Korus, who was sidelined because of COVID-19-related issues.
The Flyers made it tough on the Irish and survived three match points before falling by the 25-23 score in the fourth.
St. Francis was down 18-12 in the final set before a frantic 6-0 run evened the set at 18-18.
The run started for the Flyers with a second-shot kill before Allison Weidner hit back-to-back ace serves to gather momentum.
“We seemed a little down at times, but we got things going to try to get back in the match,” Classen said. “We responded but just came up a little short.”
Tessa Deets hit a winner and Kylee Wessel slammed a shot down the line to make it 18-17, forcing Irish coach Emma Ebel to call timeout.
Humphrey St. Francis came out of the break and took its first lead in the set after a pair of FCSH hitting errors made it 19-18, Flyers.
“It seemed like we were playing catch-up the entire match,” Classen said. “We would make a play or two, then give up a play or two — this was an even match.”
Erison Vonderschmidt was the equalizer for the Irish, finishing the match with 29 kills, and she tied the score 19-19 with one of the 29 and later blocked a Flyer spike at the net to make it 21-19 for FCSH.
Kaylee Stricklin won a joust at the net for St. Francis to make it 21-21, but Vonderschmidt’s 29th winner and another Irish block had the Flyers trailing 23-21.
The lead grew to 24-21 before Stricklin hit a kill and stuffed a back-row spike attempt by Vonderschmidt to make it 24-23.
A St. Francis hitting error finished the set and the match.
In the opening set, Kylee Wessel hit a kill off the FCSH block to break a 21-21 tie.
The lead grew to 23-21 when the Irish were called for a double hit.
A block by Vonderschmidt and an error by the Flyers forced Schrage to call timeout, but Weidner saved the set when a back-row kill went off the hands of the Sacred Heart block.
FCSH defeats HSF 23-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23
FALLS CITY SACRED HEART (26-6): Lauren Malone 19d; Olivia Eickhoff 3k, 1b, 1d; Rachel Magdanz 1k, 3b, 9d, 41s; Erison Vonderschmidt 29k, 3b, 21d, 1s; Taylor Frederick 7k, 1a, 6d; Lainey Ebel 4k, 1b, 6d; Emma Frederick 10d; Danielle Bippes 3b, 1a, 26d, 1s.
HUMPHREY ST. FRANCIS (26-3): Allison Weidner 13k, 3b, 2a, 27d; Hannah Baumgart 18d; Kylee Wessel 10k, 1a, 19d; Kelly Pfeifer 4k, 1a, 17d; Emma Baumgart 1d; Tessa Deets 1k, 5d; Kaylee Stricklin 8k, 2b, 3d; Peighton Eisenmenger 1k, 1b, 15d, 13s.