COUNCIL BLUFFS — The days of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln sneaking up on highly touted volleyball opponents likely are over.
Now the Lynx’s task is maintaining a consistent quality effort, even against the state’s elite teams.
That did not happen on Tuesday, as Class 4-A No. 2 Sergeant Bluff-Luton flattened the 5-A No. 12 Lynx 25-14, 25-20, 25-11 Tuesday in a 54-minute Missouri River Conference match at the A.L. Fieldhouse.
“Teams are going to be coming after us now that our name’s getting known,’’ A.L. coach Katie Darrington said. “We just kind of sat back on our heels, and we didn’t go get it.’’
Sergeant Bluff, which sent out seven girls who were on the court in last year’s five-set loss to Dubuque Wahlert in the 4-A state final, improved to 17-2 overall and 4-0 in MRC play. A.L. dropped to 16-5 and 2-1.
The Warriors notched their fourth win over a rated 5-A team in four days. They beat No. 6 Urbandale, No. 7 Ankeny and No. 9 Waukee on Saturday at the Waukee invite, before falling to No. 3 West Des Moines Valley.
“It told them that they can play with anyone,’’ SB-L coach Renee Winkel said. “This group in the first few weeks of the season has really learned how to focus in, regardless of the opponent.’’
Sergeant Bluff has one of the state’s most imposing attacks, and it was on full display Tuesday. Six-foot junior Kenzie Foley led the way with 17 kills, while 6-2 senior Madison Harms, a South Dakota recruit, added 12 and 6-1 junior Elle Sneller had nine.
For the season, all three girls are hitting between .334 and .389, with the powerful Foley averaging 3.98 kills per set to rank ninth in 4-A.
Foley also showed plenty of volleyball savvy, deftly placing several balls into the open court after long rallies. Winkel said she isn’t yet receiving any Division I attention, which surprises her.
“She can just about score on demand,’’ she said. “She sees the court so well. She’s just turned into a beast this last year. ... She’s like having another coach on the floor. She knows exactly what you’re thinking.
“She wants to play, so someone’s going to get a gem there.’’
Winkel said her team’s serving was “on point.’’
“We utilized the short serve, the deep serve, and it took them out of their offense,’’ she said.
A.L. was coming off a strong weekend of its own, going 5-1 to place second in the Red Oak invite at Glenwood. The Lynx beat 3-A No. 8 Mount Vernon, 2-A No. 7 Tri-Center and 2-A No. 8 Treynor before falling to 2-A No. 6 Sidney.
Abraham Lincoln spotted Sergeant Bluff the first six points and wasn’t competitive in the opener. Its chance came in the second set, when it led 16-15 on Taylan Keefer’s ace. But the Warriors scored seven of the next eight points to take control, then cruised in the third set.
Elaina Bohnet, a 5-8 junior, led the Lynx with 11 kills, but no one else could generate a consistent attack against the towering Warriors.
“They’re so tall,’’ Darrington said. “We talked about practices. We need to pick them up. I think they’re starting to see that, all right, we need to get back to where we started, and not settle for 16 wins.’’
Sgt. Bluff-Luton (17-2, 4-0).............25 25 25
At CB Abraham Lincoln (16-5, 2-1)....14 20 11
S (kills-aces-blocks): Brooklyn Huberty 0-0-0, Mia Garnet 0-3-0, Maya Schmidt 0-2-0, Abby Minten 0-1-0, Elle Sneller 9-0-2, Kenzie Foley 17-1-2, Madison Harms 12-0-3, Abby Wisecup 2-0-1, Emma Salker 1-0-2.
AL (kills-aces-blocks): Elaina Bohnet 11-0-1, Taylan Keefer 0-1-0, Julia Wagoner 2-0-0, Kayla Schliefman 3-0-0, Samantha Christiansen 3-0-0, Baylie Girres 2-1-0, Jillian Shanks 3-0-0.
Set assists: S, Schmidt 32, Foley 4, Garnet 1, Harms 1, Wisecup 1; AL, Christiansen 18, Wagoner 3.
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July 1: Air Force's Nic Ready hit a total of 55 home runs, including 21 in the final round, to edge Clemson's Logan Davidson in the College Home Run Derby.
June 28: Oregon State celebrates beating Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 of the CWS championship series. The Beavers were down to their last out in Game 2 before a fielding blunder by the Razorbacks gave Oregon State a second life, which it took advantage of en route to the program's third CWS title.
June 18: John Olson, and Mary Olson, of Joslyn, Missouri, take cover under ponchos during a rain delay at the College World Series. Weather provided a huge problem in the 2018 CWS.
June 15: Cam'ron Jones checks out Omaha.com, or perhaps Snapchat, during the Huskers' Friday Night Lights camp.
June 9: Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his knockout victory over Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title.
May 19: Fremont's Lucas Arps celebrates after winning the Class A 400-meter dash.
May 19: Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz celebrates after clearing 12-2 in the Class C girls pole vault final.
May 17: Omaha Roncalli's Thomas Alitz cheers after scoring the winning run in the Class B state championship on a hit by Logan McGill with two outs in the seventh inning.
May 17: Omaha Creighton Prep's Eric Allbery, right, jumps on the dogpile as the Junior Jays celebrate their Class A state baseball title.
May 16: South Sioux City celebrates after defeating Elkhorn South in the Class B state soccer championship.
May 16: Kearney's Christian Dakan hoists the Class A state soccer trophy alongside his teammates.
May 14: Millard North celebrates its Class A state championship win against Omaha Marian by kissing the trophy.
May 14: Elkhorn celebrates its Class B championship win against Omaha Skutt.
May 9: Creighton's Will Robertson celebrates with Jack Strunc, left, after homering the fifth inning. The Jays beat UNO 10-6.
May 6: The Omaha Storm Chasers play below the newly dedicated Steve Pivovar Press Box at Werner Park.
April 21: Nebraska coach Scott Frost leads the Huskers during the Tunnel Walk on Saturday.
April 19: Awardee Dante Pettis and former Nebraska football player Johnny Rodgers, right, pictured during the Jet Award dinner.
April 19: Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne attends the Jet Award dinner.
April 18: UNO's Malik Moore pitches against Nebraska. The Mavericks knocked off the Huskers for the first time since 1997.
April 11: Creighton's Will Robertson, left, and Thomas Luevano celebrate scoring on a triple by Jack Strunc.
April 11: Elkhorn South's Mo Gohr gains control of the ball in the Metro Conference tournament.
April 3: Scott Frost directs Husker football practice.
March 31: The boy campers pose for a photo at the Athletes' Training Center Futures Camp at Iowa West Field House.
March 27: Creighton defeats Nebraska 3-1 in the first matchup of the year.
March 25: Kansas' Malik Newman drives to the basket, drawing a blocking foul on Duke's Wendell Carter. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Blue Devils in Omaha and advance to the Final Four.
March 17: Arizona State defeats Nebraska in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Nebraska Wesleyan celebrates winning the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship.
March 17: Creighton defeats Iowa in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Creighton's bench cheers as Michael Emodi hits a walk-off homer off Wichita State pitcher Chandler Sanburn in the Jays' home opener.
March 12: The Creighton women's basketball team celebrates making the NCAA tournament.
March 10: Wahoo celebrates winning the Class C-1 boys basketball title.
March 10: Nebraska City Lourdes' Quinten Vasa, center, holds up the trophy with his team.
March 9: Glenwood celebrates after winning its first boys basktball state title in school history.
March 3: Scotus' Maggie Feehan celebrates after winning the Class C-1 title.
March 3: Superior celebrates a Class C-2 championship win over Ravenna.
Feb. 25: Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night. The Huskers went on to defeat Penn State.
Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night.
Feb. 24: Creighton's Marcus Foster, left, and Davion Mintz celebrate Creighton's 89-83 overtime victory over Villanova.
Feb. 24: Omaha Creighton Prep's Colin LaFave competes in the 100 fly at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 24: Lincoln Southwest's Anna Heinrich, left, and Josie Ford celebrate their first and second-place finishes in the 50 free at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 17: Kearney’s Phillip Moomey is in the top 20 of his weight class in two national polls. Only a handful of underclassmen are ranked ahead of him.
Feb. 17: Omaha Burke's Jakason Burks does a backflip after defeating Millard South's Caleb Coyle during the 106-pound Class A final at the state wrestling championships.
Jan. 28: Omaha Lancers coach and General Manager David Wilkie talks with players during first-period action.
Jan. 26: UNO's Luke Nogard skates past the referee.
Jan. 16: Nebraska's Nicea Eliely gets excited during pregame introductions as the Huskers went on to beat Iowa.
Nebraska's James Palmer celebrates a home victory over Illinois with Isaiah Roby.
Jan. 9: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, left, talks with former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne during the Outland Trophy banquet.
Jan. 4: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell brings the ball up court in the Metro holiday tournament.
Jan. 1: In his final game with Central Florida, now-Nebraska coach Scott Frost raises the Peach Bowl title after defeating Auburn.