Ogallala snaps Swede win streak; girls place third at SWC
Gothenburg finished on the short end of a showdown of three rated teams at the Southwest Conference volleyball tournament Saturday at Ainsworth.
But it was not without a fight. The Swedes, ranked No. 8 going into the weekend, fell in the semifinals to No. 2 Ogallala in three sets. The Indians beat No. 3 Minden in straight sets for the SWC crown.
Gothenburg took third place after going 2-1 in the tournament.
The Swedes started the day with a two-set sweep over the Indians of Broken Bow—25-11, 25-21, setting up a rematch with Ogallala in the semifinals of the tournament.
This was the second time the Swedes had played Broken Bow. The first time was the opening match of the season.
“We imposed our will in the first set against Broken Bow,” assistant coach Jim Clark said.
Gothenburg hitter Tiani Reeves led the team with 13 kills on 23 swings while Taylor Mroczek was a perfect 19-19 from the service line with six aces.
In the second set the Swedes looked ahead to their next match against Ogallala, Clark said.
“We weren’t as focused and Broken Bow played better,” he said.
However, Gothenburg won 25-21.
In the next match, the Swedes took on the Ogallala Indians, a team Gothenburg split with in the regular season.
“It was a great match to watch,” Clark said.
The Swedes lost the first set 25-18.
“We didn’t play well and they were hitting on all cylinders,” Clark said.
Gothenburg regained momentum as they cleaned up their net play and beat the Indians 25-22.
A third set was forced and Gothenburg had the game early, Clark said.
“We were leading up until the teens when a five-point swing gave them momentum,” Clark said. “It was very unusual but the kids knew they handed them the game.”
Gothenburg lost 25-23 ending its win streak at 18 games.
The Indians faced a steady dose of Reeves and Regan Geiken who combined for 28 kills on 66 hit attempts.
Although the girls lost they bounced back and beat Valentine in the following match 25-14, 25-21.
“I wasn’t sure the way the girls would respond after losing a physical game,” Clark said. “I was tickled the way they came out and dominated the first set.”
Gothenburg showed some fatigue in the second set and Valentine nearly forced a third set.
The Swedes pushed through for a 25-21 set win, Clark said.
Geiken shined with 15 kills on 26 hits while Reeves had 10 kills on 19 hits.
Gothenburg is 25-4 heading into its final home match of the season against Cozad Friday. The Swedes start subdistrict play next Monday at North Platte and are unofficially projected to play Hershey at 6:30 p.m. (See story on page B1.)