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Viking Volleyball Team Finishes Strong Earns Post-season honors

Five Viking Volleyball players were recognized for excellent play by being selected to all-RPAC teams for the 2019 season. Three Vikings were placed on first team including setter Erin Boggs, libero Jada High, and hitter Johanna Ford. Hitter Aleya Hueftle earned second team honors while hitter/defensive specialist Jordan Hilmer received honorable mention recognition.

Erin Boggs finished the year leading the conference with 846 assists. She also ended the season with 52 ace serves, 104 kills, and 252 digs. Jada High led the conference in ace serves with 83 and digs with 516. She also tallied over 500 good serve receptions. Johanna Ford finished the season with 44 aces, 278 kills with a hitting percentage of .233, 304 digs and 56 blocks. Opposite outside hitter Aleya Hueftle end with 35 blocks, and 166 kills with a .248 hitting percentage. Jordan Hilmer was second in the conference with 347 digs. She also tallied 739 serve receives, 42 aces, and 135 kills.

Other Viking players making significant contributions to the Viking team this season include Jennica Dannehl with 28 aces, 213 digs, 118 kills with a hitting percentage of .136. Macie Steinbrink with 153 kills and 32 aces. Anna Pelton and Sadie Maloley made major contributions to the team this season playing many positions off the bench. Sadie finished the season with 89 kills and a hitting percentage of .167 while Anna Pelton contributed 21 kills and a percentage of .226.

Coaches Mason and Lavene contribute much of the team’s successes to the unselfish play of the individuals that make up the team. They believe that every player has a role to play. Without practice players working hard every day to push and challenge their teammates, no one gets better. According to Coach Mason, “Post-season honors are honors earned for the whole team. Without the others, it wouldn’t be possible to accomplish the goals of the team which many of the awards are based upon.”

Vikings Finish Strong

The Vikings finished the 2019 season playing their best volleyball of the season. Bertrand played in the semi-finals of the RPAC tourney for the tenth straight year, losing to Southern Valley in five sets in a come back after being down 0-2 sets to start the match. The Vikings fought back but did not have enough to finish in the fifth. The C-1 Eagles went on to win the tournament downing undefeated Maywood-Hayes Center in the finals. The Vikings defeated Wauneta-Palisade to capture third place.

From there, the Vikings headed into post-season play where they were able to defeat Wilcox-Hildreth and Silver Lake in sub-district play in straight sets. Earning the sixth place seed in district play, Bertrand was paired with Winside from Northeast Nebraska. The two teams met and played in Aurora for the opportunity to play in the state tournament. The Vikings were able to defeat Winside in three straight sets to capture the district title and move on to Lincoln.

Playing in front of a packed house of Viking fans, D-2, sixth seeded Bertrand was matched with third seeded BDS, the 2018 returning state champion. Coming from behind in both sets one and two, the Vikings found themselves up 2 sets to 0. Unfortunately, Bertrand was unable to hold off the eventual state champion Eagles in sets three, four, and five and were defeated 3-2 to end the season and hopes of making it into the state finals.

Coaches Lisa Mason and Kevin Lavene were very pleased with and proud of the 2019 team that was characterized by tough serving, great passing, and an unbelievable competitive spirit. “This team fought hard, and always believed they could win,” commented Coach Mason. “They had high expectations for the season. The upperclassmen demanded top notch play, and the young kids responded by developing into physically and mentally tough competitors.”

Lady Vikings draw Home game for Rpac

Bertrand will be a host school for the first round of the RPAC tourney to begin next Monday, Oct. 21. The Vikings earned the second seed in the RPAC East Division with a 18-4 record. The top two teams in each division earn the right to host first round play. Southern Valley earned top seed honors with their 18-4 record and head-to-head win over the Vikings in regular season play. Maywood-Hayes Center (23-0) earned top honors in the West Division with Wauneta-Palisade (13-5) taking second seed.

The Vikings will play the opening game at 4:00 against Arapahoe, with Alma and Southwest playing in the second game at 5:30. The winners will play at 7:00. Teams winning the quarter final rounds will advance to the semi-finals in McCook at the MCC Events Center on Tuesday. The East Divisions will play the first game of the day at 3:00, followed by the West Division teams at 4:30. The consolation final will be played at 6:00 with the championship games scheduled for 7:30.

Vikings Challenge for Championship; Fall Just Short

After a mediocre showing at the Franklin triangular last Tuesday, the Vikings weren’t sure what to expect at their own invitational on Saturday. Although Bertrand emerged from the night with two wins, they were unsure of what might happen when they played some of the top ranked teams in class D.  

Both coaches were impressed as the Vikings started out of the gate with excellent play in their opening game against Giltner. The Vikings and the Hornets battled it out, never wavering more than 1 point differential until the score was tied at 13-13.  Jada High went to the service line, helping the Vikings score the next three straight points, two of which were ace serves. This spark helped the Vikings go on a run and finish the set 25-19.  

The Vikings had a slow start in the second set, allowing the Hornets to go ahead 9-3. The Vikings battled, slowly gaining on the Hornets until the game was once again tied at 13. Bertrand and Giltner continued to battle until the Vikings finally started to pull away at 18-18.  The Vikings finished the set and game 25-22.

In the second game against conference foe Hitchcock County, the Vikings played neck and neck with the Falcons, but lost their momentum mid-way through the first set.  Unforced errors by the Vikings allowed Hitchcock County to pull away after a tie at 16, allowing Bertrand to score only three more points before the set ended 19-25.  

The Vikings refocused for sets two and three where excellent serving and crisp play allowed the Vikings to dominate winning the last two sets 25-13 and 25-11.

In the final game of the day, the Vikings were determined to give D-1 second ranked Pleasanton a run for the championship.  First set play was incredible, with the Bulldogs and Vikings tying the score throughout the set, never allowing the other to pull ahead more than two points.  Again at 13-13, the Vikings made a run, but allowed Pleasanton to tie the score back up at 16-16. It was then Pleasanton’s turn to try to make a run going up 20-18. However, the Vikings came storming back to tie the game once again at 20.  From that point, a war ensued. Pleasanton and Bertrand each had 4 game point opportunities to win the set until the Vikings were able to put down the final point ending the set at 32-30.

In the second set, the bigger, more experienced Bulldog team was able to keep the Vikings off balance and did not allow Bertrand to score more than 11 points.  The Vikings battled with Pleasanton again in the third set, but were unable to out score Pleasanton with the game ending 20-25 in favor of the Bulldogs. 

The players and coaches were very pleased with the Viking performance.  “This is the best we have played all season. We have seen glimpses of extraordinary play, but we just haven’t been able to put it all together.  Today we did a lot of that,” said Coach Mason. Senior libero Jada High commented, “I am excited. I think we played really well today.”

For the tournament Jada HIgh picked up 65 digs and tallied 7 aces.  Jordan Hilmer contributed 31 digs and 5 aces. Johanna Ford had 4 aces, 17 kills (.191), and was in on 8 blocks.  Aleya Hueftle had 18 kills (.267) and 3 blocks, while Jennica Dannehl contributed 5 blocks. Anna Pelton added 1. Macie Steinbrink put down 17 kills, and Sadie Maloley contributed 7.   Erin Boggs had 65 assists on the day and delivered 11 kills and 2 aces.. 

The Vikings will play tonight at Axtell. JVs will begin at 5:00, followed by the varsity at 6:00.