GRAND ISLAND — In the first round of the state volleyball tournament at Grand Island Northwest High School on Thursday, North Platte St. Patrick's and Hershey met for the fourth time this season. And just like the first three matches, St. Pat's came out on top, this time winning 23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-10.
The Lady Irish (30-1) move on to play Norfolk Lutheran at Grand Island Senior High at 9 a.m. Friday.
“We came out a little sluggish,” St. Pat's coach Shelly Byrn said. “I think both teams actually were, because there were a lot of back-and-forth mistakes.
“Nobody was grabbing the momentum. It just seemed like nobody was willing to step up, grab the momentum and go.”
The first set was tight with 10 ties. A kill by Maddie Seamann gave the Lady Panthers a 21-20 lead before the St. Pat's used two Hershey hitting errors and a Brittany Lawrence kill to grab a 23-21 advantage.
Coming out of a time out, Hershey took advantage of a St. Pat's net call and tied the set at 23 on a Bobbi Brannan block. The Lady Panthers took the set with a Daynlee Miller block and an Anessa Kivett service ace.
Brooke Frederick led the Lady Panthers (17-11), knocking down five of her 11 kills in the first set and adding a service ace.
“Honestly, if we could have kept her on the floor it would have meant a difference,” Hershey coach Amy Beyer said. “Because she's just a little fireball.
“I told the coaches on the bench, 'We need to get Fred back out there because it just helps since she's real competitive.'”
St. Pat's passing and serving picked up in the second set, but not without a tussle from Hershey. Frederick's kill tied it at 14 before the Lady Irish went on a four-point run to gain a little breathing room.
“We got a little better the second set and third set and then we were playing ball by the fourth, but we can't do that tomorrow,” said coach Byrn. “Our serve receive was terrible the first two sets.
“We could not get the ball in front of the 10-foot line and that's probably why Brook (Boucher) was struggling a little bit. She was having to run all over the place and taking us out of system.
“But Hershey played great defense. You could tell they have been playing defense all week without blockers.”
North Platte St. Pat's (30-1)..........................23 25 25 25
At Hershey (17-11)....................................25 22 17 10
SP (kills-aces-blocks): Brook Boucher 0-2-9, Breelyn Saner 4-2-0, Shelby Allberry 7-0-6, Jenna Torres 4-0-1, Brittany Lawrence 20-0-8, Samantha Byrn 14-0-8.
H: Brooke Frederick 11-0-8, Ryce Troyer 4-0-0, Bobbi Brannan 0-0-3, Maddie Seamann 10-0-3, Brooke Munsen 3-0-0, Jenna Young 1-0-0, Daynlee Miller 7-0-3, Anessa Kivett 0-0-1.
Set assists: SP 42 (Boucher 34, Zandra Carlini 2, Byrn 6); H 35 (Jenna Young 18, Bobbi Brannan 14, Shawnie Stone-Swedberg 1, Miller 1, Lauren Arnett 1).