SEWARD — Following York’s second loss of the night in the first round of the Central Conference Tournament, it didn’t take Coach Kayla Makovicka much time to come up with a reason for her team’s 0-2 performance.
York opened a 2-0 loss to the Seward Bluejays by the final scores of 25-17, 25-17 and in a match against the Central City Bison, one the Dukes could have easily won, they went down in two sets again, 25-21, 27-25.
“We had way too many unforced errors. By that I mean hitting the ball into the net, not picking up the pass and bad serves, we just had way too many and we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” Makovicka explained. “Right now we are not a very scrappy team. You see other teams shank a ball, but they continue to go after it. We just seem to give up on those a lot sooner than we should. We have to get it together by Saturday and it’s important that we do, because we may have two tougher games on Saturday than we had tonight.”
The Dukes opened the tournament with Seward and for the most part the York girls hung tough as they trailed only by the score of 7-6 early on, but as was the problem all night long the Dukes made two big mistakes over the next four points and the lead went to 10-7. Eventually the Seward girls, who improved to 22-4 with the win, stretched the lead to 16-11 and that prompted Makovicka to use her first timeout.
The Bluejays extended their lead to 19-11, but a pair of kills from Erica Koehler and an ace block from the senior pulled the Dukes within 21-15. That was too close for Seward head coach Tom Pallas and he used a timeout.
Seward closed out the first set with an ace and kill from Sierra Roth to go up 1-0.
The Bluejays jumped to a 5-1 lead in the second set and York never recovered.
The Seward girls led wire-to-wire with York pulling as close as 7-5 and 8-7, but a 5-2 run opened the lead back to 14-9.
York never got closer than six points.
The Dukes were charted with 24 team kills as Koehler drilled 10 with one ace block. Aleah Rosenau finished with five and Dacia Stuhr four. The Dukes did not record an ace serve. Seward had 22 team kills and was led by Kourteney Zadina with eight while Ashlyn Hanson and Katie Duff had five each.
Central City and York traded the lead several times in both games, but when it came to crunch time, Bison Jamie Knight took control of the game. The 5-10 junior had six kills and two ace blocks in the second game and led her team with 10 kills and three ace blocks.
The Dukes again had more team kills as the numbers showed York with 29 and Central City with 28. The one stat the Dukes did not want to have more of was mistakes, but York made several especially down the stretch in game two.
The Dukes and the Bison were pretty much at a stalemate in the first set, until a string of errors allowed the Bison to stretch the lead to 14-11.
York responded with a 7-4 run as Erin Malleck and Emily Meisinger picked up kills to tie the score at 18-18.
Two big miscues allowed the Bison to go up 23-19 and the closest the Dukes got was 23-21 before a wide tip and kill from Aubrey Lenz put game one in the books.
The Bison could have put game two away as they led 23-19, but Koehler, Malleck and Rosenau picked up kills to draw them even at 23-23.
At 25-25 the Bison got a tip kill and at 26-25 Knight ended the match on her third ace block.
York was led by Koehler with nine kills, Rosenau added eight and Malleck chipped in with six. Malleck had the Dukes’ only ace serve.
“It’s huge for us to come back Saturday and play well,” said Makovicka. “We have kind of come to a stop in our progress and we have to get things going again.”
York will be in action Saturday with two more games in the league tourney which will conclude at Lakeview High school.