GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Top-ranked Papillion-La Vista South began its quest for a third straight Class A crown in dominating fashion Thursday at the state volleyball tournament.
The Titans rolled past seventh-ranked Papillion-La Vista 25-18, 25-11, 25-16 in a first-round match at the Heartland Events Center. Papio South (39-1) advances to a 9 a.m. semifinal Friday while the Monarchs finish the season 22-17.
“It was a really good start for us,” Titans coach Gwen Egbert said. “Papio competed hard but I thought we stepped it up against them.”
Papio South was paced by its trio of Nebraska recruits — seniors Kadie, Amber Rolfzen and Kelly Hunter. Kadie Rolfzen had 14 kills, Amber had 12 and Hunter chipped in 29 assists.
Katie Kurtz added seven kills and Adyson Goodnight had four kills and two aces.
The Titans, who had swept three previous matches against the Monarchs, sprinted to a 10-3 lead in the first set. But Papio fought back to win the next seven points and tie it at 10.
“We tried to put pressure on them as much as we could,” Monarchs coach Kristen Lebeda-Svehla said. “I was proud of the way we battled back in that first set.”
A kill by Kadie Rolfzen got the Titans back on track, and they pulled away to win the set on a kill by Kurtz.
Papio South led most of the way in the second set and eventually put it away by rattling off the final eight points. It was much the same in the third set as the Titans finished off their opening win with a kill by Kadie Rolfzen.
“It’s always great to beat Papio,” Rolfzen said. “But at state, you’re just happy to win and then move on to the next round.”
Senior Alexa Johnson and junior Alissa Schovanec had five kills each for the Monarchs.
Papillion-La Vista (22-17).........................18 11 16
Papillion-La Vista South (39-1)...................25 25 25
PLV (kills-aces-blocks): Rachel Kendall 2-0-2, Alexa Johnson 5-0-1, Alissa Schovanec 5-0-1, Elena Melendez 2-0-0, Katie Stephens 3-0-1, Sara Kneifl 2-0-1.
PLVS: Olivia Schonewise 3-0-1, Kelly Hunter 1-3-2, Amber Rolfzen 12-2-0, Kadie Rolfzen 14-1-2, Erin Warren 0-2-0, Adyson Goodnight 4-2-0, Katie Kurtz 7-0-2.
Set assists: PLV 18 (Addison Smith 11, Johnson 6, Stephens 1); PLVS 32 (Hunter 29, Goodnight 2, Warren 1).
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