First-year coach John Svehla didn’t know Papillion-La Vista had finished second the past two years in the Bellevue West Invitational.
But senior setter Brooklyn Schram was well aware of it, and she wanted to do something about it.
Schram dished out 25 assists as the top-ranked Monarchs defeated Omaha Skutt 26-24, 25-17 to win the two-day, 16-team event. Papio went 6-0 in the tourney, dropping just one set.
“This tournament has been on my mind,’’ Schram said. “We knew we needed to come together as a team to win it.’’
The Monarchs began Saturday with a victory over Omaha Duchesne and followed with a sweep of defending Class A champion Millard North. That set up the showdown with the SkyHawks, who have won the past four Class B titles.
Skutt, which beat Millard South and Omaha Marian to reach the final, was playing without two-time All-Nebraska hitter Lindsay Krause. She will miss the first two weeks of the season while competing for the Team USA under-18 national team in Egypt.
Even without their big hitter, the SkyHawks got off to a strong start in the first set. They led 14-8 and 16-12 before the Monarchs fought back to get it tied at 18 on a kill by Creighton recruit Norah Sis.
The set was tied six more times until Papio took the lead for good at 25-24 on a kill by Sis. An ace by sophomore Samantha Riggs then gave the opening set to Papillion-La Vista.
The Monarchs rode that momentum into the second set, opening a 10-4 advantage. Skutt coach Renee Saunders used her first timeout, but the Monarchs kept their distance and led 19-12, leading Saunders to use her final timeout.
The Skyhawks could get no closer than six, and Papio eventually won the match on a kill by junior middle Logan Jeffus.
“I thought our passing picked up in the middle of that first set,’’ Svehla said. “We needed to get our middles more involved, and that opened up some other things for us.’’
The 6-foot-1 Sis led Papio with 10 kills, including six in the final set.
“We’re lucky to have her,’’ Svehla said. “When the pressure is on, that’s when she’s at her best.’’
Chloe Paschal added eight kills and three aces, and Jeffus finished with six kills.
“We’ve set our standards high this year,’’ Schram said. “This is a great way for us to start the season.’’
Megan Skovsende and Lauren Kemp each had eight kills for the SkyHawks, while junior setter Allie Gray had 25 assists.
Omaha Skutt (5-1)...............24 17
Papillion-La Vista (6-0)..........26 25
OS (kills-aces-blocks): Lauren Kemp 8-0-0, Abby Schomers 1-0-1, Ava Heyne 7-0-0, Megan Skovsende 8-2-0, Cameron Cartwright 2-0-0, Lauren Diederich 0-1-0, Allie Gray 1-0-0.
PLV: Norah Sis 10-0-0, Morgan Hickey 4-0-0, Samantha Riggs 0-1-0, Brooklyn Schram 4-0-1, Logan Jeffus 6-0-0, Erica Broin 1-0-0, Chloe Paschal 8-3-0, Ashlee Fettin 0-1-0.
Set assists: OS 26 (Gray 25, Cartwright 1); PLV 28 (Schram 25, Fettin 2, Riggs 1).
All-stater Ruch breaks finger
Millard North’s McKenna Ruch suffered a broken finger Saturday at the Bellevue West Invitational and is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks.
Ruch, a UNO recruit, broke the pinkie on her right hand while going up for a block in a match against Hull Western Christian. She said surgery is expected soon but that she hopes to return by early October.
The 6-foot-2 senior was a first-team All-Nebraska selection last season and was a key player for the Mustangs, who captured the Class A title.
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From left, Emily Bressman of Omaha Marian, Kalynn Meyer of Superior, Jaiden Centeno of Millard West, Lindsay Krause of Omaha Skutt, McKenna Ruch of Millard North and Marriah Buss of Lincoln Lutheran. Not pictured: Millard North’s Izzy Lukens.
From left: Johnson-Brock’s Fallon Stutheit, Omaha Marian's Lily Heim (honorary captain), Superior’s Kalynn Meyer, Omaha Skutt’s Lindsay Krause, Marian’s Emily Bressman and Papio South’s Taliyah Flores. Not pictured: Malcolm’s Jaela Zimmerman.
2016: Back row from left: Jaela Zimmerman, Malcolm; Taliyah Flores, Papillion-La Vista; Elise Baumann, Millard North; Fallon Stutheit, Johnson-Brock. Front row from left: Sarah Swanson, Elkhorn South; Alli Schomers, Omaha Skutt; Brooke Heyne, Omaha Skutt.
2015: From left: Olivia Nicholson, North Platte; Raegan LeGrand, Papillion-La Vista South; Allison Schomers, Omaha Skutt; Brittany Witt, Omaha Marian; Elizabeth Loschen, Omaha Marian; Hali McArdle, Gretna; Sarah Swanson, Elkhorn South.
2014: From left: Priscilla O'Dowd, Papillion-La Vista; Jessica Peters, Papillion-La Vista; Raegan LeGrand, Papillion-La Vista South; Megan Wickey, Omaha Concordia; Carley Remmers, Freeman; Tiani Reeves, Gothenburg; Brittany Witt, Omaha Marian.
2013: The All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams came together for a photo shoot, and the cover was designed to look like a Facebook page with the teams taking one big selfie.
2012: From left: Lexi Elman, Omaha Marian; Kelly Hunter, Papillion-La Vista South; Amber Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Sydney Townsend, Lincoln Pius X; Alyssa Frauendorfer, Humphrey; Michaela Mestl, Kearney Catholic; Kadie Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South.
2011: From left: Kelly Hunter, Papillion-La Vista South; Kadie Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Amber Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Lauren Sieckmann, Elkorn South; Katie Brand, Grand Island Central Catholic; Cassie Effken, Lincoln Pius X; Kate Elman, Omaha Marian.
2010: From left: Emily Wilson, Omaha Gross; Kadie Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Amber Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Sara McClinton, Millard North; Chelsea Albers, Papillion-La Vista; Kelly Hunter, Papillion-La Vista South; Lauren Sieckmann, Omaha Marian.
2009: Standing from left: Emily Wilson, Omaha Gross; Kadie Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Sarah Kemp, Bellevue East; Amber Rolfzen, Papillion-La Vista South; Tenisha Matlock, North Platte. Front row from left: Lauren Sieckmann, Omaha Marian; Julianne Mandolfo, Omaha Marian.
2008: From left: Natalie Braun, Lincoln Pius X; Chelsey Feekin, Papillion-La Vista; Hayley Thramer, Ewing; Jamie Straube, Johnson County; Gina Mancuso, Papillion-La Vista; Lauren Cook, Lincoln Pius X.
2007: From left: Tali Fredrickson, Grand Island Central Catholic; Caitlin Mahoney, Omaha Marian; Chelsey Feekin, Papillion-La Vista; Keelin Bourne, Millard North; Gina Mancuso, Papillion-La Vista; Lauren Cook, Lincoln Pius X.
2006: Top from left: Catie Wilson, Omaha Gross; Brooke Delano, Bellevue West; Lauren Cook, Lincoln Pius X. Bottom from left: Gabi Ailes, Bellevue West; Ann Armes, Grand Island; Gina Mancuso, Papillion-La Vista.
2005: From left: Katie Swenson, Omaha Gross; Angela Hlavaty, Lincoln Lutheran; Brooke Delano, Bellevue West; Gabi Ailes, Bellevue West; Brooke Bartek, Lincoln Northeast; Erica Burson, Omaha Gross.
2004: Front row from left: Amanda Gates, Columbus; Jordan Larson, Logan View; Alison Jacobs, Elkhorn; Rachel Schwartz, Lincoln East. Back row from left: Kyla Roehrig, Papillion-La Vista; Korie Lebeda, Omaha Marian.