After a one-year absence, Millard North will return to the state volleyball tournament.
The seventh-ranked Mustangs earned that trip with a 25-23, 19-25, 27-25, 26-24 win over sixth-ranked Papillion-La Vista in the District A-7 final Wednesday night. Host Millard North boosted its record to 27-14 while the Monarchs (22-16) appear to be in line for the only Class A wild-card berth.
“It's incredible,” first-year Mustangs coach Lindsay Mohon said. “I couldn't have asked for a better match from our girls tonight.”
After Millard North won the first set, Papio captured the second to tie the match. That led to the third set, which was tied on 10 occasions.
The Monarchs were able to open up a little daylight at 21-18 after a kill by Alissa Schovanec, but the Mustangs battled back to get it tied again at 22 on an ace by Libby Koukol. It also was tied at 23, 24 and 25 before Millard North won the next two points and the set on a kill by Katherine King and a block by Makayla Maxwell.
The Mustangs kept up that pressure in the fourth set, building a 19-15 lead before Papio coach Kristen Lebeda-Svehla called a timeout. That refocused the Monarchs, who rattled off the next five points — three on kills by freshman Katie Stephens — to take a 20-19 lead.
Papio eventually went ahead 24-22 on another kill by Stephens, but the Mustangs captured the next four points to take the match. That stretch included a pair of kills by King, one by Maxwell and an ace by Elisa Wildy.
“We knew coming in that they'd be tough,” Mohon said. “We tried to keep them from going on a run of three points or more because we didn't want them to build that momentum.”
The Monarchs, who defeated Millard North last week in the Metro Conference tournament, couldn't quite get it done against the host team Wednesday night.
“I can't complain about the way we played,” Lebeda-Svehla said. “It was just back and forth the entire night.”
A-1 at Papio South
Papio South 3, Omaha Burke 0
The top-ranked Titans (40-1) captured the district crown with a 25-21, 25-13, 25-11 win over the Bulldogs in a rematch of the 2011 state final. Papio South, the two-time defending state champion, earned its fifth straight trip to state while Burke (15-21) will miss the tourney for the first time since 2008.
A-2 at Omaha Marian
Omaha Marian 3, Grand Island 1
The second-ranked Crusaders earned their 27th trip to state by defeating the unranked Islanders 23-25, 25-11, 25-11, 25-20. Marian boosted its record to 38-4 while Grand Island (17-18) will miss state for just the second time in the past seven years.
A-3 at Millard West
Millard West 3, Omaha Westside 0
The fourth-ranked Wildcats will head to state for the second straight year and fourth time overall after defeating the Warriors 25-12, 25-10, 25-23.
A-4 at Lincoln Southeast
Lincoln Southeast 3, Millard South 0
The third-ranked Knights swept the Patriots 25-22, 25-15, 25-9 to earn their district title. Southeast (27-8) nailed down its first trip to state since 2002.
A-5 at Lincoln Southwest
Lincoln Southwest 3, Lincoln North Star 2
The seventh-ranked Silver Hawks outlasted the unranked Navigators 25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 10-25, 15-13 to earn their seventh consecutive trip to state and ninth in the past 10 years. Southwest moves to 25-7 while North Star finishes the year 18-13.
A-6 at Lincoln Pius X
Lincoln Pius X 3, North Platte 1
The Thunderbolts, the defending Class B champion, earned a berth in the Class A portion of the tournament with a 25-17, 25-21, 29-31, 25-20 district final victory. It will be the 18th straight year that the Thunderbolts (26-11) reached the tourney.
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