Editor's note: The following story didn't appear in Saturday's Tribune. It is posted in its entirety here.
GRAND ISLAND — As Giltner head coach Kurt Polt noted, every team will be tough to play in a state semifinal match.
The No. 3-seeded Hornets ran into a tough Humphrey team that used quick starts and a strong performance from senior Alyssa Frauendorfer to win 25-17, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20 and advance to the Class D-2 state championship game.
"We knew we were going to be in for a battle. But like I told the girls, I'm very proud of the way we played today. We played well. I thought Humphrey had a few too many athletes here and there. On defense, they were able to keep some balls alive and they were really able to keep our servers from getting on a run," Polt said.
The Hornets (29-3) showed plenty of heart, though, coming back to win the third set after falling behind 2-0 in the match.
A big reason behind that third set win was the play of Giltner senior Abbey Preissler, who nabbed four kills and five blocks in the set. She and the rest of her teammates stepped up when it was needed, and took the set thanks to 7-0 run that distanced themselves on the scoreboard.
"Being down 2-0 to a team like that, a lot of teams may cash it in at the end. (The girls) came out fighting and they took that third set," Polt said. "They played right up to the end, and I can't ask for more than that."
The Hornets were also competitive in the fourth, but Humphrey stuck to a formula that worked for them throughout match: get out to fast start and take control.
That's what happened in their dominating first and second set victories. Polt said Humphrey is too tough of a team to have to play catch up with.
In the first, the Bulldogs opened with a 7-3 run and quickly established their power at the net. The team had a 7-1 run to add midway through the set.
A big downfall for the Hornets in that first frame were some uncharacteristic serving errors that gave away free points to Humphrey.
"We've been pretty agressive on the serving line all year, and it leads to some errors," said Polt, whose team had six serving errors in the first set alone. "Give credit to Humphrey today. They handled our serve. I thought they did a nice job of staying in system."
The second set was very similar, as the Bulldogs started on an 11-3 run and didn't look back.
It didn't help the Hornets, either, that Frauendorfer was in her groove. The middle hitter finished with 26 kills, six blocks and an ace.
Preissler wasn't too shabby for the Hornets either, tallying 13 kills and seven blocks in her outing. Junior Dani Most also had 13 kills, while senior setter Shayne Vaught had 36 of her team's 38 assists.
Giltner is set to face Mead at 2 p.m. this afternoon in the Grand Island Northwest gym.
Humphrey . . . . 25 25 21 25
Giltner . . . . . . .17 16 25 20
Tarrin Beller 5-0-1, Alyssa Frauendorfer 26-1-6, Haley Roelle 5-1-0, Mikaela Classen 1-0-0, Brenna Bender 4-1-1, Ellie Geyer 3-2-0, Kellie Klassen 2-0-0, Scarlett Prorok 1-0-0. Totals: 47-5-8.
Assists — Beller 3, Frauendorfer 1, Roelle 3, Geyer 32.
Darby Hinrichs 6-0-0, Abbey Preissler 13-1-7, Shelby Hinrichs 0-0-1, Jordan Bieck 9-0-0, Jaclyn Happold 0-1-0, Shayne Vaught 1-0-1, Dani Most 13-1-1, Sarah Williams 2-0-0. Totals: 44-3-10.
Assists — Vaught 36, Williams 2.