YORK — If the Dukes’ volleyball team played every set like the second Tuesday night against the Class C-1 Columbus Lakeview Vikings, things could have been different.
But unlike the second set, York struggled to get anything going in the first and third which led to a loss via sweep (25-12, 25-21, 25-12) to the Vikings at York High School.
The loss drops the Dukes to 0-3 before a road trip Thursday to Ralston for a triangular with the host Rams (0-3) and Wahoo Bishop Neumann (4-0). Bishop Neumann is No. 4 in the Omaha World-Herald’s Class C-1 ratings.
After a 25-12 loss in the first set, the Dukes did have some offensive momentum in the second which saw six ties. Both sophomore Erin Case and freshman Masa Scheierman unofficially connected on three kills while senior Alexis Velde had two.
The Dukes matched the Vikings early in the second and didn’t obtain a large deficit like they did in the first and third sets.
“We didn’t dig ourselves in a hole and hang our heads early. I think that was huge,” York head coach Chris Ericson said of that second set. “I think we had some rallies there that sparked the crowd and sparked the girls. Those are the things we need to be able to do, whether it’s an easy kill or easy point or whatever. Just finding a way to generate excitement and refocus quickly.”
Case had a team-leading 12 kills coming into the match while Scheierman had the most ace serves with four.
Back-to-back kills from Velde tied the second set at 10-10 with Lakeview, which started the season 0-2 but came into Tuesday night riding a two-match winning streak.
The Vikings went on a 4-0 run after that, though, and forced the Dukes to call a timeout. That break seemed to do its job as York came out and found some success.
That positive momentum came in the form of a kill each from Case and Scheierman. An error at the net from Lakeview tied the set at 15-15.
The Dukes and Vikings tied three more times at the scores of 16, 17 and 18. Lakeview ended up gaining a 21-18 advantage that resulted in another timeout for York.
Just as it did the first time, the stoppage in play helped the hosts.
The Dukes responded with two kills from Case that cut York’s deficit to 23-21 and featured rallies that got the Dukes’ student section and crowd on its feet and loud.
But that was the closest York would get to the Vikings as a block from senior Britney Stock ended the set.
With a team full of youth learning as it goes in the season, finding a way to persevere through low points during a match is pivotal to growth.
“We talked about that after the game,” Ericson said, “about not hanging our heads and staying mentally in the match.”
Unofficially, Case and Scheierman led the Dukes with seven kills while Velde chipped in with three.
Columbus Lakeview (3-2) 25 25 25
York (0-3) 12 21 12