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.