Class B: No. 1 Skutt starts with 21-0 run, finishes record-setting day with romp of Hastings

Omaha Skutt's Allison Gray, Grace Werner, Abigail Schomers, Megan Skovsende and Erica Fenn defeating Hastings. Skovsende opened the match by serving 21 consecutive points, including a pair of aces, on her way to five aces for the match. 

LINCOLN — Describing Omaha Skutt’s victory over Hastings as dominant would rank as a vast understatement.

The Class B No. 1 SkyHawks surged to a 21-0 first-set lead en route to a 25-2, 25-5, 25-6 first-round win over the No. 8 Tigers Thursday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In the process, Skutt (32-5) set state tournament records in the rally-scoring era for fewest points allowed in a set (two) and a match (13).

The four-time defending Class B champs are known for their powerful hitting attack. However, SkyHawks coach Renee Saunders said her team’s record defensive effort was no accident.

“We take a lot of pride in our defense and our block,” Saunders said. “We work really hard on it — I’d say we work just as much on those things as we do attack and serve.

“We train really hard a lot in hopes that when it gets to game time, we do the little things right and the rest flows our direction.”

Megan Skovsende (13 digs), Breanna Skala (12) and Lauren Diederich (10) led Skutt’s defense. The SkyHawks also had six blocks.

Lindsay Krause had 13 kills and Cameron Cartwright added 10 as Skutt recorded a 44-9 advantage in kills. Allison Gray finished with 39 assists for the SkyHawks, who closed the second set with an 11-0 run and raced to an 18-4 advantage in the final set.

“I don’t think we could’ve played a better (all-around) game,” Saunders said. “We served well, we passed well (and) we might have had a record hitting efficiency.

“Everybody did their job really well, and that’s what we’ve been focusing on. We came out ready to play.”

Skovsende opened the match by serving 21 consecutive points, including a pair of aces, on her way to five aces for the match. When the Tigers (21-12) finally broke through with their first point on a kill by Haley Schram, the Hastings fans erupted in applause.

Hastings coach Dave Hepner said the SkyHawks were so good Thursday that about all he and his team could do was smile.

“In that first set, nothing went right for us,” Hepner said. “Every time we’d finally get a pass, we’d hit it right into a block or the set would be tight or the set would be too far off or the attack would go right into their hands.

“Everything that could go wrong did for us in that first set. That’s something that happens when you haven’t been here a lot. It’s a big atmosphere.”

Schram finished with four kills to lead Hastings, which was making its first state appearance since 2008.

Skutt, winner of nine straight matches and undefeated against Class B opponents this season, will face Norris at 5 p.m. Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Omaha Skutt (32-5)............25 25 25

Hastings (21-12)...................2 5 6

OS (kills-aces-blocks): Lauren Kemp 1-0-0, Abigail Schomers 3-0-1, Erica Fenn 0-1-0, Grace Werner 1-0-0, Ava Heyne 8-0-1, Megan Skovsende 5-5-0, Cameron Cartwright 10-0-1, Stella Shotkoski 0-0-0, Olivia Rouw 0-0-0, Lauren Diederich 0-2-0, Breanna Skala 0-0-0, Lindsay Krause 13-0-1, Allison Gray 3-2-2. Totals 44-10-6.

H (kills-aces-blocks): Carley Norlen 0-0-0, Aubree Cress 1-0-0, Isabella Satterly 0-0-0, Katelyn Shaw 0-0-0, Dacey Sealey 0-0-0, Haley Schram 4-0-0, Emma Markle 0-0-0, Madalynn Hilgendorf 0-0-0, Emma Estrada 2-0-1, Brooke Aspen 2-0-0. Totals 9-0-1.

Assists: OS 41 (Gray 39, Shotkoski 1, Skala 1), H 9 (Sealey 9).