LINGLE – Niobrara County High School tipped off their season last Friday at the Lady Dogger Invitational with four matches against schools from the Northeast region. Wins didn’t come as often as head coach Sandra Johnson had hoped for as the Lady Tigers won just one of four matches.
Friday morning’s early opponent was Sundance, and while a perennial 2A favorite, the Lady Bulldogs lost a lot to graduation. First game jitters were evident early as Sundance took the first set 25-16 and the second 25-10.
NCHS faced 1A Upton next, winning the first set by a 25-20 count. The Lady Bobcats snuck past NCHS in the second set by a 26-24 win to force a third set. As the teams battled tightly, the Lady Tigers came out on top 15-11 for the win.
Hulett was a 1A state qualifier last season and their early season win over Lusk was a quick two sets. The scores were 25-14 and 25-15.
To wrap up the long day, NCHS had to face the defending 1A state champs from Kaycee. The Lady Bucs won in two by 25-14 and 25-15 scores.
The younger players went to Newcastle on Saturday and brought home second place in the Silver bracket. They split with Sundance 20-17 and 19-21 before defeating Sheridan in two sets (21-13 and 21-19) and Buffalo (20-14 and 20-14). NCHS lost to Campbell County (11-20 and 10-20) but defeated Torrington (11-9 and 12-10) to move into the championship. After splitting the first two sets, Upton however took the third set 15-7.
NCHS played the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers on Tuesday, Aug. 30 and travel to Crawford, Nebraska on Thursday, Sept. 1.
TEAM STATS: Serving 122/143, 85 pct; 50 kills/202 atts, 25 pct; Assists 35; 120 digs/217 atts, 55 pct
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Serving: Paige Potter 13/13; Lily Krueger 20/22; Melody ZumBrunnen 25/28; Hannah Krein 24/28. Kills: Krueger 12; Gracie ZumBrunnen 11; H. Krein 7; M. ZumBrunnen 7. Assists: Evelyn DesEnfants 19; Phoebe Allbright 14. Stuff Blocks: Krueger 4. Digs: Krueger 31; M. ZumBrunnen 25; G. ZumBrunnen 20.