COLUMBUS — The Northwest volleyball team is once again Central Conference champions.
The Class B, No. 2 Vikings breezed through the day by going 3-0 to win their sixth consecutive conference title Saturday at Columbus Lakeview.
Aurora went 1-2 to take fourth, while Central City was 1-2.
Northwest opened with a 25-8, 25-8 victory over Fairbury. Morgan Westphal led the Vikings with seven kills, while Kaley Werner had six kills and five blocks. Neleigh Hall had 14 points with 12 assists, while Katie Placke added 11.
Northwest then defeated Aurora 25-21, 25-14. Placke had 10 kills, while McKenzie Brown had nine. Angelica Carlini had 14 points and 13 digs. Kiley Hixson led the Huskies with six kills, while Taylor Thiele added five. Allison Penner came away with 17 set assists.
In the final, the Vikings had a fight with No. 8 Seward, but managed to come away with a 25-23, 25-16 victory. The Bluejays took a 17-8 lead on Northwest (28-2) before coach Diane Rouzee called a timeout. After that, the Vikings outscored Seward 17-6 to take the set. They carried that momentum and cruised in the second set.
“We got tested today pretty good,” Rouzee said. “I’m really proud of the kids to battle back. After I called a timeout, the kids suddenly found some intensity and kept it. Coming back like that really took a lot out of Seward.”
Placke had 11 kills and 11 points to lead the Vikings. Brown chipped in eight kills and Niki Broich had nine digs.
Rouzee said it felt good for Northwest to win the conference title once again.
“I like where we are at right now because we are playing very well,” Rouzee said. “The title is a tribute to the kids and I’m pretty lucky to have the group that I do.”
Before the loss to Northwest, Aurora defeated Holdrege 25-23, 25-12. Thiele led the way with 12 kills and five digs. Hixson and Logan Ohlson each had four kills.
The Huskies fell to Columbus Lakeview 22-25, 25-22, 25-19. Thiele had 12 kills and 22 digs, while Hixson added five kills and 18 digs. Penner had 26 set assists.
For Central City, it fell to Columbus Lakeview 25-23, 25-14. Jamie Knight had six kills, Mikaela Wilshusen nine digs and Lindsey Butt six digs.
The Bison fell to Seward 25-9, 25-13 in its second match. Aubrey Lenz had four kills while Paige Benner and Knight had eight digs apiece.
The Bison downed Fairbury 23-25, 25-22, 25-6. Benner had 13 kills and nine digs. Lenz added six kills and Abby Maresh 23 set assists.