ALLIANCE — The Chadron volleyball team captured the championship of the Alliance Invitational on Saturday in Alliance.
Chadron, ranked No. 6 in Class C-1 by the Omaha World-Herald, improved its season record to 24-2 after registering three wins in the tournament.
The Cardinals swept past Sidney 25-14, 25-20 in the championship match. In pool play, Chadron topped Gering 25-12, 25-9 before rallying for a 21-25, 25-15, 25-12 win against Alliance.
Alia Brennan, Ashlyn Eitemiller and Maaryn Davis all totaled eight kills each in Chadron’s title-winning performance against Sidney. Maggie Earney had 25 set assists and Ashlea Kerr had two ace blocks. Defensively for the Cardinals, Eitemiller tallied seven digs, Peyton Hinn added six and Earney finished with five.
Eitemiller put down 13 kills and fired in three aces in Chadron’s comeback win over Alliance. Davis added 10 kills and Kerr finished with seven. Kerr led the Cardinals with three ace blocks. Earney dished out 26 assists and led Chadron defensively with eight digs.
Against Gering in the opener, Eitemiller again reached double figures in kills with 14. She also served a pair of aces. Brennan added eight kills with two ace blocks, while Kerr supplied five kills. Earney led the Cardinals with 25 assists and five digs. Davis and Jazzy McLain both had four digs each.
For Gering against Chadron, Santanna Mitchell led the Bulldogs in hitting with six kills. Savannah Walker added five kills, while Allie Boggs and Kaylee Spreier each finished with three. Kelsea Prieels tallied 18 assists. Katie O’Boyle led Gering with three blocks and two aces. Brooke Vowers had a team-high five digs.
Gering managed to finish fifth in the tournament. After losing to Chadron and Alliance in pool play, the Bulldogs swept Scottsbluff 25-21, 25-22 in the fifth-place match. Gering coach Craig Schadwinkel said his squad did a good job of building momentum and playing better as the day progressed.
“We were really slow and flat against Chadron. I thought the kids did a good job of picking things up against Alliance, but we just made too many unforced errors,” Schadwinkel said. “I think the kids carried some good momentum from that one over into our match against Scottsbluff. We ended up getting that win and that’s a great way to propel us into districts coming up down the road.”
Gering showcased a balanced hitting effort against Scottsbluff. Mitchell led the way with eight kills. Walker and Spreier each put down seven kills, while O’Boyle totaled five. Prieels handed out 29 assists and Vowers led the Bulldogs defensively with 11 digs. Spreier led the way in blocks with seven, while Boggs chipped in with five. O’Boyle served two aces to go with four blocks and Mitchell added three blocks and eight digs.
Prieels had a double-double of 22 assists and 10 digs for Gering in a 25-16, 22-25, 25-18 loss to Alliance. Walker and Mitchell both put down nine kills. Mitchell also provided 13 digs and four blocks, while Walker also finished with three assists, seven digs and three blocks. Spreier registered nine blocks, two aces and seven digs. Also for Gering in the match, Vowers had four digs, Boggs had five blocks, and O’Boyle had six digs and six blocks.
“We’re starting to put the pieces together to be a district force,” Schadwinkel said. “We’re trying to run a little faster offense than what we did at the beginning of the year and that worked well for us against both Scottsbluff and Alliance today. It will be nice to have 10 days off to get ready for districts. We’ve still got a couple kids banged up so that will give them some time to get healthy and be ready to go.”
Brayden Auer and Makayla Castro led Scottsbluff in hitting against Gering with five kills each. Kiley Guerue and Chesney Walker both added three kills. Conner Ehler recorded 13 assists. Castro and Auer both served two aces, while Lauren Miller led the Bearcats defensively with 14 digs. Ehler added nine digs and Guerue had seven. Walker finished with a team-high two solo blocks.
Sidney posted a pair of wins to finish on top in its pool of the tournament. The Red Raiders topped Scottsbluff 25-14, 25-10 and swept Ogallala 25-17, 25-7. Ogallala beat Scottsbluff 25-7, 25-11 in the other pool-play match.
Miller had seven digs for the Bearcats against Sidney. Auer had three blocks and Ehler finished with seven assists. Auer, Walker and Ehler all tallied two kills each. Alexus Pinedo served two aces.
Guerue, Walker, Castro and Auer all supplied two kills each against Ogallala. Ehler handed out eight assists and Miller totaled eight digs. Auer led Scottsbluff with two blocks.
Ogallala claimed third place in the tournament after turning back Alliance 28-26, 25-12.