LINCOLN — After spotting Bruning-Davenport/Shickley a two-sets-to-none lead, Humphrey St. Francis came roaring back to tie the Class D2 state championship match at two sets apiece, only to drop the fifth set 16-14 and have to settle for second place.
Both teams won their semifinal matches in five sets so it was fitting that the final at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday morning would go the distance as well. BDS won 26-24, 25-16, 19-25, 18-25 and 16-14.
The Flyers trailed big early as BDS raced out to a 20-9 first-set lead, but as with Friday’s fifth set against Lawrence-Nelson, came back to take the lead.
Unlike the semifinal match, the Flyers could not hold it. Kylee Wessel served 11 straight points to tie it at 20. The run included three service aces, a pair of double blocks and five BDS attack errors.
But a service error after a time out gave the Eagles a one-point lead. St. Francis later took the lead when a Caitlin Jarosz kill made the score 23-22.
A Macy Kamler kill and St. Francis attack error gave the Eagles the one-point advantage. Jarosz tied it at 24, but another Kamler kill and Flyer attack error provided BDS with the winning margin.
The Flyers had trouble finding an answer for Kamler all morning. The junior middle finished the match with 30 kills. But the Flyers were finally able to slow her down in the third and fourth sets rejecting several of her kill attempts with blocks and forcing her into several errors.
The Eagles started the second set with four straight points and the Flyers were never able to get closer than four points the rest of the way until a BDS attack error allowed St. Francis to pull within three at 17-14.
But the Eagles would score the next five points to take a commanding lead en route to the 25-16 final score.
As one would expect from a St. Francis team of any sport, the Flyers never gave up and came back in the third set.
St. Francis gave the Eagles a heavy dose of Kylee Wessel. The freshman outside hitter scored three straight kills including a crater-forming rocket on an overpass.
St. Francis went on to win that third set 25-19. Makenna Krings pushed across the final kill.
The Flyers looked to level the match in the fourth and the teams played evenly early on. St. Francis took a 10-9 lead when Wessel and Krings combined for a block.
Later, Allison Weidner's kill made it 12-11 Flyers. St. Francis maintained the lead thanks to effective serving, great blocking and BDS errors.
Weidner's block gave St. Francis a 23-18 lead and two BDS errors provided the Flyers with their 24th and 25th points.
St. Francis raced out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth and final set. A BDS attack error had the Flyers on top 5-2.
The Flyers maintained the lead until the Eagles made a big run to take an 11-8 advantage. A Caitlin Jarosz kill stopped the bleeding, but Reagan Alfs answered with back-to-back kills for BDS.
A St. Francis net violation made it 14-9. Wessel's kill pulled the Flyers to within four, a BDS attack error made the score 14-11 and an Allison Weidner kill erased another Eagle match point.
After a time out, Weidner's block made it 14-13 and her kill tied it at 14.
BDS regained the lead and another match point with a St. Francis attack error and an Alfs kill off the block gave the Eagles their back-to-back championship.
St. Francis ends the year with a record of 24-5.