The Adams Central volleyball team suffered an intense four-set loss to Grand Island Central Catholic Tuesday night at Patriot Gym 16-25, 25-19, 24-26, 20-25 in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
The Patriots' youth and inexperience showed as the Crusaders brought in a senior-laden team to claim the victory. GICC (12-6) has a roster with five seniors while the Patriots (7-12) only have two and play many underclassmen.
"I was really proud of our kids for the things we worked on all week and came in and executed it tonight," Adams Central coach Twila Knehans said. "I liked how we battled and never gave up."
After suffering a 25-16 loss in the opening set, the Patriots responded with a commanding 25-19 win in the second.
Freshman Hannah Alexander and sophomore Ashley Petr combined early in the second set to jumpstart Adams Central to a quick 4-0 lead. Senior Sarah Allen later connected for a kill to help the Patriots claim a 7-2 advantage. Allen finished with a team-high 17 kills.
"We knew they would go to her and we told our blockers to cheat over on her," GICC coach Sharon Zavala said. "They set it so high, though, and we've never seen it that high."
An Alexander kill gave Adams Central a 15-8 lead, but the Crusaders answered with five straight points to make the score 15-13 before Petr ended the rally with a kill. GICC senior Samantha Moravec keyed the spurt with three kills. The senior had a match-high 21 kills, including eight in the second-set loss.
Following a kill and block from Allen, AC held a comfortable 20-15 lead but a service error ended the run. The Patriots committed 10 service errors on the night.
"Those obviously hurt us a lot and in a bunch of different situations," Knehans said. "That took some points away and took us out of some sets that I thought could've went the other way."
Consecutive kills from Moravec late in the set trimmed the Patriot lead to 23-19, but AC ended the match with kills from junior Carly Bostock and Petr to claim the second set.
"The girls just had a lot of heart in that set and wasn't going to let it slip away," Knehans said. "We put everything together with our attacking and blocking."
GICC jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the third set behind the power hitting of junior Emma Benton, who finished with 16 kills on the night as four different Crusader hitters had at least eight kills.
"We knew they would set outside a lot," Knehans said. "They have good hitters so they're going to get their kills."
The Patriots answered with a 5-2 run to make the score 9-11, but GICC responded with the next four service points. AC would later erupt for five straight to knot the score at 16-all.
Back-to-back kills from Allen later gave AC its first lead of the third set at 20-18. A controversial net violation call would extend the game and end up hurting the Patriots as GICC escaped with a 26-24 win.
The final set of the match belonged to GICC.
Until the Patriots made one final run. Trailing 21-12, the AC offense exploded for seven straight points to trim the GICC lead to 21-19. Junior Brittani Wiseman had two service aces during the run with Bostock adding a kill and block. An Adams Central net violation and hitting error, followed by a Crusader block ended the match.
In the opening set of the match, the Patriots held a 3-2 lead, but the Crusader offense started clicking. GICC had many runs, led by the hot hand of Benton. The junior had seven kills and three blocks in the opening set to help GICC claim the first set.
Although the Patriots did get within 16-22 following kills from Bostock and Alexander, the Crusaders ended the first set with three straight service points.
Adams Central (7-12) 16 25 24 20
Grand Island Central Catholic (12-6) 25 19 26 25
Adams Central (kills-aces-blocks)
Brittani Wiseman 3-2-0, Hannah Alexander 7-4-0, Emalie Krabel 0-1-0, Sarah Allen 17-2-1, Ashley Petr 5-0-4, Carly Bostock 11-0-4, Hannah Fleischer 2-0-0, Team 45-9-9.
Assists - Wiseman 17, Emmalena Bohlen 14, Bostock 1.
Grand Island Central Catholic (kills-aces-blocks)
Sadie Goering 0-0-1, Kelsey Flaherty 0-1-0, Samantha Moravec 21-2-0, Allison Ostdiek 8-0-1, Elysse Gratupp 8-2-0, Emma Benton 16-0-6, Laura Lowry 1-0-0, Lauren Webb 0-2-0, Jordan Liske 0-1-0, Team 54-8-8.
Assists - Lowry 24, Goering 19, Flaherty 3, Moravec 1.