Lady Tigers sweep past Crawford and Burns in openers

© 2018-Lusk Herald

After a nice opening weekend at the Lingle Tournament, the Lady Tigers hosted Crawford, NE last Thursday before traveling to Burns on Friday. While most coaches aren’t fans of such early season conference games, it worked out as NCHS equaled last year’s conference win total.

Thursday’s debut at Tiger Gym saw the home team off to a fast start with a 6-1 lead as Ashley Christianson served up five in a row. The lead grew to 11-3 on a pair of Amanda Smith blocks, but the Lady Rams fought back to 13-10. Trisha Hales showed off her new jump serve and put the Lady Tigers up 18-10 before a timeout. NCHS came back out and finished up set one with a 25-15 win.

Lusk took a bit longer to pull away in the second set as the game was close until Christianson and Hales got behind the service line again. Reygan Molzahn’s kill stretched the lead to 21-8 and Miranda Gilkey killed the final point in a 25-9 win.

The third set was tied at seven before NCHS found their next gear, as Hales and Gilkey got hot from behind the line. The Lady Tigers went on to the 25-11 win and sweep of their Nebraska rivals.

NCHS TEAM STATS: Serving- 62/67, 93 percent, 8 aces. Kills- 20/56 atts. 20 assists. 9 blocks. 24 digs/32 atts.

NCHS PLAYER STATS: Serving- Gilkey 14/14, Molzahn 8/8, Smith 7/7, Christianson 18/19, Hales 13/16. Kills- Smith 6, Taylor Gaukel 5. Assists- Christianson 13, Emma Ceaglske 5. Digs- Hales 7, Baleigh Abbott 6.  

Friday in Burns the Lady Tigers got off to a fast 7-3 lead before letting the home team back in at 11 apiece. The game was tied again at 15 before Burns took the lead. NCHS miscues tied it again at 22, 24, and 26 before edging out the 28-26 win.

The Lusk girls found their stride in the second set as Christianson, Hales and Gilkey led the serving again. A 10-6 lead extended to 16-11 and 21-12 before the 25-13 win.

In the third set NCHS again took an early lead and never let the hosts closer than 16-14. The Lady Tigers closed out the sweep with a 25-18 victory to improve to 6-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

NCHS TEAM STATS: Serving- 66/76, 87 percent, 10 aces. Kills- 29/98 atts. 24 assists. 11 blocks. 51 digs/73 atts.

NCHS PLAYER STATS: Serving- Christianson 16/16, Gilkey 11/12, Smith 12/14, Hales 11/13 (5 aces). Kills- Smith 8, Hales 6, Molzahn 6, Gilkey 5. Assists- Christianson 13, Ceaglske 10. Digs- Gaukel 18, Hales 11.

The JV also won their games as the JV beat Crawford 20-25, 25-20 and 25-11 Thursday. The young Lady Tigers have four freshmen in the rotation-yet were led by junior Kianna Blackburn’s 12 of 13 serving. At Burns it played out in similar fashion as Lusk dropped the first set 25-21 before rebounding to win 25-14 and 25-17. Miranda Mosley was a perfect 17 for 17 serving. The C squad also beat Burns in three sets.

This weekend NCHS travels to the Big Horn tournament and will face the hosts, Glenrock and Rocky Mountain in their Friday pool. The top two in each of the four pools (which features 15 of 21 2A teams) move to bracket play on Saturday.

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