It was the perfect night for an upset for the Chambers/Wheeler Central volleyball team, as the Lady Renegades defeated top seeded Ewing, in three sets, Friday at the Niobrara Valley Conference tournament championship match at Niobrara.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew we were the underdog,” stated CWC senior Jordan Laetsch. “We didn’t really care, we just came out and practiced like we do every single day and it was just like a regular day of practice.”
An early run by CWC allowed the Lady Renegades to capture the first set, 25-16.
Leading by one, CWC went on an 18-10 run to take the first set. The first set loss was only the fifth set the Lady Tigers had lost all season.
“It was very important,” Laetsch continued on winning the first set for a confidence booster. “We knew as long as we kept our mistakes down and only made no more than two in-a-row, we were going to have it and we did have it.”
The second set was an absolute dog fight between the two squads. The set saw 18 ties and six different lead changes.
The Lady Renegades had set-point after a Taylor Jean Peter kill, but Ewing rattled off three unanswered points thanks to a CWC error and kills by Ashley Koenig and Sidney Stallbaum to take a 25-24 lead.
Trailing 26-25, the Lady Renegades scored the final three points and took the set, 28-26, on a block by Morgan Ramsey and Tessa Metschke.
“The momentum of the game helped us and we knew we could do it,” Jean Peters noted. “We knew we had to fight together as a team and the momentum came to us when we were attacking. It helped and we knew what we could do since had been playing together for so long. We knew what we could do to finish the game.”
Ewing gained the early momentum after scoring 14 of the first 20 points in the third set.
CWC chipped away at the lead and tied the set at 21 following a Rachel Dierks kill and claimed its first lead of the set on a Ewing attack error.
Dierks set the Lady Renegades up with match-point following a kill, but the Lady Tigers rallied and ended a 3-0 run with an ace by Brenna Wagner to give Ewing a 25-24 advantage.
After trading leads and ties, CWC completed the upset with a kill by Ramsey and an ace by Ryann Haburchak.
“In practice we do 20-20 and we know we can come back because we do it in practice,” Jean Peters said. “We had to fight and knew we could do it.”
The Lady Tigers were led by Wagner’s six kills and one ace. Koenig tallied four kills, an ace and a block, Stallbaum collected four kills and two blocks, Summer Schroeder added two aces and Miranda Summers pitched in three kills and a block.
Jean Peters led the way for the Lady Renegades with 12 kills and two blocks. Laetsch recorded two kills, a block and an ace, Dierks accounted for three kills, Ramsey contributed two kills, two blocks and two aces, Metschke accumulated three kills and a block and Haburchak added three aces.
Ewing and CWC play at the Class D2-5 sub-district at West Holt Monday.
Ewing (26-2) faces Stuart at 5 p.m., while Chambers/Wheeler Central (23-6) takes on O’Neill St. Mary’s at 6:15 p.m.
The winners of those matches play for the sub-district title at 7:30 p.m. Monday.