CENTRAL CITY — If you believe in old sayings, then High Plains should have held the upper hand going into Monday night’s Class D1-4 subdistrict battle with Cross County at Central City.
That saying, “It’s tough to beat a team three times in one season,” didn’t hold much water, however, as the Cougars won 3-0 by final scores of 25-16, 25-23, 25-11 to advance to the sub\district final tonight against either Fullerton or Palmer.
Cross County moves on with a 10-19 mark, while the Storm closes the year at 7-21.
What went wrong for High Plains was one mistake after another.
Every time the Storm made a run and cut the Cougar lead down to a manageable number, they would make a series of mistakes to take themselves right out the game.
High Plains made a run in the first set to cut the Cross County lead to 15-14 after trailing by as many as six points in the set.
With the opportunity to tie the game, High Plains made three errors on serve receive and passing. A kill from Cougar Brooke Anderson, who led the team with nine, opened the lead to 19-14 and CC never looked back as they closed the first set on a 10-2 run.
It was pretty much the same story in the second set as High Plains had its chances, leading 9-8 after an Allie Hogan kill, one of her three in the match.
The score went back and forth as the set was tied at 16-16 and 17-17, before Taylor Nienhueser scored an ace serve and a wide attack from the Storm’s front line gave the Cougars a 20-18 lead.
Following a timeout from the Storm, a kill from Laura Branting pushed the lead to 24-20 and Cross County made it 2-0 on a tip kill from Kelsey Anderson.
The third set saw the Storm fall behind early and never recover as the Cross County lead went to as many as 12 points before the Storm got to within nine at 20-11 before a 5-0 run ended their season.
Unofficial stats had High Plains with 19 team kills. Leading the way was Danielle Shenk with eight followed by Morgan VanHousen with four. The only ace serve for High Plains was charted to Shenk who also had the only ace block.
Cross County had 27 team kills. Along with Brooke Anderson’s nine, Branting chipped in with seven and Michelle Klein added six. Brooke Anderson had four ace serves including back-to-back serves in the second set that changed the flow of the game. With three aces was Klein and both Morgan Mickey and Nienhueser recorded two each.
Four seniors played their final game in the Storm’s Red, White and Blue. Megan Fitzgerald, VanHousen, Kylee Fischer and Katie VanHousen all graduate this spring.