Once Omaha Skutt got past the first two points of the match Thursday night, the rest came fairly easy.

The SkyHawks rolled to a 25-13, 25-15, 25-17 win over Omaha Duchesne at Creighton’s Sokol Arena, where the match was moved to accommodate a crowd too big for the Cardinals’ small gym.

“It was special for the kids to play in this environment,” Skutt coach Renee Saunders said. “I thought we were focused most of the night.”

That probably didn’t include those first two points as Duchesne senior Kaitlin Neely fired a pair of aces.

“Nerves,” Saunders said. “We settled down after that.”

Then Skutt stormed back behind Nebraska recruit Lindsay Krause, who had six kills and two blocks in the opening set. The SkyHawks opened a 14-7 edge and took the set on an ace Allie Gray.

Saunders’ team kept up the pressure in the second set, sprinting to an 8-1 lead and cruised from there. The Cardinals’ deficit grew to double digits before Megan Skovsende ended the set with an ace.

The third set was closer, but the SkyHawks managed to keep a lead of at least five points most of the way. Skutt captured the set and the match on a kill by junior Grace Werner.

“I think our girls were a little nervous about playing them,” Duchesne coach Andrew Wehrli said. “We still need to learn that they’re just another opponent.”

An opponent that has had the Cardinals’ number recently. Skutt, the four-time defending Class B champ, has ended Duchesne’s season each of the past four years at state.

“They were playing a lot faster than we were,” Wehrli said. “But we’ll learn from this one and hopefully do better the next time.”

The teams could play two more times — once at the River Cities Conference tournament and again at state.

Krause led the Top 10 No. 2 SkyHawks with 19 kills, but Saunders said several other players also deserved credit.

“I thought we had a nice, balanced attack tonight,” she said. “And Allie did a great job setting.” 

Gray, an Arizona State recruit, finished with 30 assists. She also had three kills, two aces and a block.

Skovsende had seven kills while Werner and Cameron Cartwright each had five.

“It was great to play here,” Wehrli said. “But they were the better team tonight.”

Omaha Skutt (23-5)...................25 25 25

At Omaha Duchesne (15-13).......13 15 17

OS (kills-aces-blocks): Abby Schomers 4-0-1, Grace Werner 5-0-1, Megan Skovsende 7-2-2, Cameron Cartwright 5-0-1, Olivia Rouw 0-1-0, Lauren Diederich 0-1-0, Lindsay Krause 19-0-2, Allie Gray 3-2-1. Totals 43-6-8.

OD: Meghan Pellett 0-1-0, Kaitlyn Knobbe 3-0-1, Emily Kaup 1-0-0, Allison Brown 1-0-0, Caroline Ortman 7-0-1, Mayah Delgado 5-0-1, Kiersten Capelle 0-1-0, Kaitlin Neely 0-2-0, Mary Pat Taylor 2-0-0. Totals 19-4-3.

Set assists: OS 33 (Gray 30, Bre Skala 3), OD 19 (Capelle 11, Neely 8).

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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