HENDERSON — Winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed match in the Southern Nebraska Conference Volleyball Tournament gets the distinct honor of taking on the No. 1 seed on its home court. Of course that winner has already played a match before meeting that fresh and rested top seed.
That is what faced the No. 8 Centennial Broncos on Monday night as they got past the Wilber-Clatonia Wolverines in four sets to earn the right to take on No. 1. But after a strong start against the Heartland Huskies the Centennial girls had their tank go dry.
Heartland won the first set 25-21 and went on to wins of 25-16 and 25-16 in sets two and three.
Centennial lost their first set of the night as the Wolverines won 25-18, but then the Broncos got things turned around and went on to win by the scores of 25-14, 25-21 and 25-19.
In the battle to see who would move into the semifinals, Centennial led 10-8. The Huskies seemed to have a bit of rust in their game and made some early mistakes that kept the Broncos in the game.
Centennial managed to keep the lead at 12-11 on a net call against the hosts, but then ties at 15-15 and 17-17 tightened up the first set. Heartland’s Mikaelyn Dick had two of her six first set kills late to put the Huskies right at the heels of the Broncos.
Heartland went on a 4-0 run to open a 21-17 lead as Haley Huebert had one of her three aces in the run. The Broncos fought back to make it 24-21, but Heartland put the set away on a Bronco error.
In the second set the Huskies pulled away early as Sara Brune had five ace serves in a 9-0 run that opened a 15-3 lead and the Heartland girls cruised in to win the second set by nine.
The third set saw the Huskies pull away to another 25-16 win.
Heartland was led at the net by setter Ashley Bittinger with 12 set assists, picking up 10 more in the two-setter rotation was Maelyn Huebert.
In kills it was Brune and Dick with eight each, while Ashton Kroeker was charted with six.
Centennial got nine kills from McKenna Obermier and seven from Audrey Dreifurst.
In the Broncos win over the Wolverines, Obermier was charted with 18 kills. Also in double numbers was Dreifurst with 10. The Broncos had seven ace serves led by Driefurst’s five.
Heartland (17-7) will take on the No. 5 seed Milford Eagles (18-8) on their home court at 5:30 p.m. tonight to see who will move into Friday night’s 6:30 p.m. championship, also slated be played at Milford.
Centennial (8-18) will take on the loser of the Superior-David City game at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Milford.