Four losses marred the opening couple of weeks for Class B No. 1 Omaha Skutt.
The SkyHawks rode a 60-match unbeaten streak into the 2017 season and looked poised to hoist the championship for the third straight season before running into some of the state’s best teams during a brutal stretch of their schedule.
But if anyone thought the losses were indicative of the SkyHawks’ true potential this season, they were sorely mistaken.
Skutt once again proved that they are the pinnacle of Class B, and possibly Nebraska volleyball in general, in a straight-set win (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) at Class A No. 6 Lincoln Pius X on Tuesday night.
“I wouldn’t say the losses motivate us, this team is just still trying to find its identity,” Omaha Skutt coach Renee Saunders said. “We’re going to go through some ups and downs this season, but after a couple losses last week they were motivated to come in here tonight against a good team.”
The SkyHawks didn’t have a lot of downs in their matchup against the Thunderbolts, bouncing back after losses to Class A No. 6 Millard South and No. 1 Millard West over the weekend at the Millard North Invite.
Setter Delaney Saucier and the SkyHawk hitters were impressive in their consistency.
“Our setter did a really good job of moving the ball around tonight,” Saunders said. “Our defense was scrappy and our block was better. The middles were great when we could get them the ball. We still have some things we need to work on though.”
For Pius X, it was another tough loss to a highly skilled opponent in straight sets that really didn’t tell the story.
The Bolts threatened Skutt in every set but couldn’t get on a run to close a set, a problem they faced last week against Southwest.
“Our girls didn’t quit tonight and I am proud of them tonight,” Pius coach Katie Wenz said. “Skutt is a great team and we never held our heads. We played with confidence and were in every set.”
Pius X has been dealt a blow with serious injuries to two freshmen that expected to play a major role in the Thunderbolts season.
Alexis Markowski broke her foot before the season and Kylin Sealock tore her Achilles and meniscus in warmups against Southwest earlier this month.
But, despite the losses, Wenz and her team remain positive.
“We just need to figure out who clicks where and not second guess each other,” she said. “Our girls have the desire to fight and win. Once we get over those injuries, you’ll see our rhythm.”
Wenz’s squad will have several chances to get in rhythm against the state’s best this weekend when they tipoff in the LPS Classic on Friday and Saturday.