GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — A week ago, St. Mary's swept Ansley-Litchfield in a district final.
On Thursday, they were back at it in a Class D-1 state tournament first-round game at Grand Island Northwest High School, and the results were about the same.
This time around it took the Cardinals four sets to get the job done, winning 25-16, 23-25, 25-14, 25-15.
“These girls are playing at the top of their game right now, and they're coming to go all the way,” St. Mary's coach Nicole Renshaw said.
The Cardinals (31-2) were hitting at the Spartans (29-3) from every position. Jessi Pongrantz had 15 kills while Krissy Krotter and Brooke Bauer had 11 kills each, freshman Riley Sibbel nine kills and Emily Everett six.
“They just continued to hit every time, and sometimes we just put a little easy one over,” Ansley-Litchfield coach Pat Hoblyn said. “We needed to hit it every time and it just didn't seem like we were. They seemed to hit every time at us. We played a lot of defense. I think that was the key.”
Renshaw was particularly pleased with the production the Cardinals got from Sibbel.
“Riley has done nothing but improve her performance all season,” Renshaw said. “She has played big in the post season. It doesn't matter who's in the front row. I have confidence in anybody who is up there. The setters are feeling really comfortable with their hitters and the libero is back there digging balls. They're just playing so well together as a team.”
Taylor Pickar led Ansley-Litchfield with 11 kills and Lindsy Siegel had 10.
The win moves St. Mary's into a D-1 semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Grand Island Senior High.
Ansley-Litchfield (29-3)...............................16 25 14 15
At St. Mary's (31-2)...................................25 23 25 25
AL (kills-aces-blocks): Kayla Reynolds 1-0-0, Hanna Lane 0-0-0, Shawna Paitz 6-0-0, Lindsy Siegel 10-0-1, Kaitlin Kratzer 1-0-0, Taylor Pickar 11-0-3, Katelynn Sweley 1-0-0, Jessica Bristol 2-0-0, Falicia Shepardson 1-0-0, LaKoya Scott 0-0-0, Alivia Wardyn 0-0-0, Nicole Wardyn 0-0-0.
SM: Mackenzie Wecker 0-0-0, Kaylee Krotter 0-4-0, Emily Everett 6-1-0, Riley Sibbel 8-0-0, Krissy Krotter 11-3-1, Brooke Bauer 11-0-4, Justine Blumenstock 5-0-0, Bridget Schneider 0-0-0, Jessi Pongratz 15-0-5.
Set assists: AL 27 (Kratzer 17). SM: 49 (Kaylee Krotter 25, Schneider 23).