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.”