LINCOLN — Wynot and Falls City Sacred Heart are no strangers from each other on the basketball court, volleyball court or even the football field, for that matter.
The Blue Devils and the Irish went toe-to-toe in the opening round of the Class D2 state volleyball championships here at Lincoln Northeast High School and the Irish blinked at the end of the match as Wynot came away with a hard-fought five-set win over FCSH.
Wynot came back to win the opening set 27-25, got humiliated in the second set, 13-25, responded to win the third set 25-22, lost the fourth 17-25, then prevailed in the fifth 15-11.
“This was not our best performance,” Wynot coach Tammy Wieseler said. “But we just kept battling all the way through without our best offensive performance.”
In the deciding set, McKenzie Witt slammed a winner for Sacred Heart to make it 6-5. That’s as close as Sacred Heart would get as an Irish hitting error put Wynot up 7-5.
Kaitlyn Heimes hit a winner off of a touch by the Irish to make it 8-5 and another hitting error by Sacred Heart made it 9-5.
The Irish went up 11-6 with a kill by Erison Vonderschmidt, but a kill by Emma Littrel made it 11-7.
Heimes returned a kill from FCSH to make it 12-7 and after another winner by Whitney Hochstein later in the set, the Blue Devils were up 14-10.
A couple of Wynot players ran into each other chasing a tipped ball to make it 14-11, and a four-hit call on the Irish on a hard-hit slam from the Blue Devils ended the set and the match.
The match was back-and-forth right from the beginning.
In the first set, the Blue Devils trailed 24-21 after a kill by Danielle Bippes.
Wynot answered with a block from Heimes and Edyn Sudbeck to make it 24-22.
Sudbeck hit a back-row winner to make it 24-23 before Heimes slammed a kill on an Irish overpass to even the score.
Sudbeck served an ace to give Wynot the advantage 25-24, but Sacred Heart wasn’t finished.
A Wynot hitting error evened the score again, but the Irish returned the favor to make it 26-25 before Sudbeck and Hochstein stuffed FCSH at the net to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
“It was so important to win that first set,” Wieseler said. “I thought if we could survive and win that, we might be OK.”
She went on to elaborate that a little luck may have been involved in the match.
“Sometimes you get breaks and sometimes you don’t,” she said. “We made some breaks tonight, and we got some breaks tonight — we’ll move forward and get back after it (Friday).”
The Irish wasted little time in the second set taking care of the Blue Devils and evened the match with a 25-13 win, but after set three was tied 21-21, Wynot finished the third session with a 4-1 run to get up in the match 2-1.
With Wynot up two sets to one, FCSH took control to tie the match after the teams were deadlocked at 12. Sacred Heart went up 15-12 after a block by Rachel Magdanz, who also closed out the set with a second-hit kill for the 25-17 final, setting up the final race to 15.
The Blue Devils were to take on Bruning-Davenport-Shickley in the semifinals Friday morning at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Class D2 state volleyball tournament
Wynot defeats Falls City Sacred Heart 27-25, 13-25, 25-22, 17-25 and 15-11.
WYNOT (25-3): Kaitlyn Heimes 8k, 5b, 1a, 7d; Noelle Wieseler 1k, 31d, 1s; Emersyn Sudbeck 1k, 2a, 3d, 17s; Karley Heimes 6k, 2b, 5d, 1s; Edyn Sudbeck 6k, 2b, 4a, 19d, 10s; Shaelee Planer 1k, 3b, 8d, 1s; Katelyn Heine 2d, 2b, 25d, 2s; Autumn Lawson 1d, 1s; Michaela Lange 1k, 1a, 15d, 1s; Chloe Heimes 1s; Whitney Hochstein 14k, 3b, 4d, 1s.
FALLS CITY SACRED HEART (21-14): Mackensie Nelson 2a; Rachel Magdanz 2k, 1a, 5d, 30s; Erison Vonderschmidt 14k, 2b, 1a, 27d, 2s; Taylor Frederick 1k, 5d; Emma Littrel 1d; McKenzie Witt 12k, 1b, 15d; Lainey Ebel 2k, 2a, 12d, 2s; Emma Frederick 18d; Danielle Bippes 7k, 1b, 21d.