Brady advances to sub-district final
The final week of the regular season provided plenty of challenge for the Eagle volleyball team.
Brady coach Lynne Johnson hopes facing tough opponents in the last few matches, despite a pair of losses, will give her team what it needs to finish strong.
The Eagles were rated sixth in the state in Class D-2 by the Omaha World-Herald on Monday.
They advanced to the D2-9 sub-district final with a 25-19, 16-25, 25-15, 25-17 win over Loomis in Lexington Monday night.
The Eagles faced No. 1 ranked Bertrand in the championship Tuesday night, too late for this week’s publication.
Johnson said back and forth matches against Ansley and Hitchcock County, both state-rated teams, gave her Eagles a taste of what the post-season would be like.
In a triangular at home on Oct. 25, the Eagles downed Sandhills-Thedford 25-13, 25-15 before facing No. 5 Ansley.
“It was a hard fight for both teams,” Johnson said.
Ansley took the first set 25-20 before the Eagles came back for a 25-22 set win.
In the third set, Brady jumped out to a five-point lead before struggles on serve receive let the Lady Warriors back in the game.
“There is such a domino effect in volleyball,” Johnson said. “There are so many people involved in every play that one person cannot be responsible for one or two points.”
In the end, Ansley had the two-point edge, winning 26-24.
“It was a fast moving match,” the coach said. “You’re bound to get a few errors when you play that way.”
The Eagles faced Class D-1 No. 6-rated Hitchcock County on the road Saturday afternoon.
“We were a little flat,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if it was because we were out of routine with a Saturday game and a long bus ride but we didn’t play with as much excitement.”
The Falcons downed Brady in three close sets 25-22, 26-24, 25-23.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Hitchcock County because they are a very good team,” Johnson said, “but I don’t think our girls were as mentally prepared as they should have been. Even when things are your norm, you still have to be prepared.”
Hitchcock County is 25-1 on the season, the only loss coming to Bertrand in the Republican Plains Activities Conference tournament championship match last month.
“There’s not an easy road to the state tournament,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t matter who you play at this point, you’d better be at the top of your game.”