Fans at the state volleyball tournament may have noticed a familiar last name on the Omaha Skutt team.
Junior middle hitter Sydney McDermott is the daughter of Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott and sister of New York Knicks forward Doug McDermott.
Dad was in attendance cheering on Sydney and her teammates in the championship match. It came a night after he had to rely on updates during the Jays’ season-opening win against Yale while Skutt was battling it out against Elkhorn South in the semifinals.
“I watched the first set in the locker room before our game,” Greg McDermott said about Skutt’s semifinal match. "I got an update on the 29-27 set right before tipoff. And I’d get occasional updates from my technical assistant during the game.
“It’s a great group of girls, and the hardest thing to do is what you’re supposed to do (win a title),” McDermott said moments before Skutt’s final match.
Sydney McDermott finished with seven kills and four blocks against Duchesne. She said Dad was disappointed to miss Friday’s semifinal, but was excited to see the SkyHawks win another title on Saturday. She said a trip Monday to watch older brother Doug and the Knicks take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers is on tap.
“We’re actually going to see Doug play on Monday,” Sydney McDermott said. "He (Greg) was disappointed to miss the semifinal game, but we knew he was still rooting hard for us.”
A colorful season: The Omaha Marian Crusaders, known for their royal and white uniforms, decided this season — as they do every season — they need a little more color in their uniforms.
The solution, neon green headbands.
"We had the white headbands coming into the season but the parents said we could use some more color," senior Lily Heim said. "I thought the green looked pretty cool and made us standout. It's a tradition at Marian that's been going on forever."
The Crusaders' headband color last year? Green. Not too versatile but, in a season of redemption for the Crusaders, why not include the headbands?
Easy on the hardware (and the noggin): Winning a state title and getting to finally raise the trophy after a season's worth of work has to be a great feeling, but a lot don't take into account the danger of it all.
Take Wahoo's celebration for example.
"It was amazing (to raise the trophy), we actually dropped it a little bit and it hit one of our players in the head," Wahoo's Kyla Swanson said. "That's not what matters though, we were so excited."
See you again in a couple years: A pair of Nebraska volleyball commits took turns shining in the spotlight Saturday on their future home court.
Johnson-Brock’s Fallon Stutheit and Superior’s Kalynn Meyer both celebrated on the Devaney Sports Center floor after each of their teams claimed state titles Saturday.
Stutheit, a junior, and her Eagles teammates captured their third consecutive Class D-1 state championship. Meyer, a sophomore, and her Superior teammates celebrated their school’s first state volleyball championship by winning the C-2 title.
“We just met for the first time this past summer at volleyball camp,” Meyer said. “I know Johnson-Brock has won a lot and is used to winning here. It was cool for us to step up when we needed to and win a championship.”
S’up, cuz: Meridian’s Halle Pribyl and Rylee Pieper are cousins.
“Ever since we were little, we would play outside on my swing set and play volleyball back and forth and we’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re going to be on TV one of these days, we’re going to be in the state championship,’” Pieper said. “We live like three blocks from each other. Just being able to play with her is a great bond that we can have.”
They fulfilled their dream of making it to the big stage twice over the last two seasons.
“We work great together, we make dumb mistakes together, we laugh at each other,” Pribyl said. “That’s what makes a great bond over that.”
Rylee's high school volleyball days are done, but Pribyl, just a sophomore, will have plenty more chances to make it back to Devaney and try to bring a state title back to Meridian. That may give her bragging rights over Rylee.
Exeter-Milligan seniors end it in style: Here's a rarity in the world of high school sports. Exeter-Milligan's seniors have never ended a season with a loss.
The Timberwolves won the Class D-2 state title on Saturday morning, giving seniors Hannah Beethe and Tara Mueller another reason to celebrate. As juniors, they concluded the season with a win in the third-place match. As sophomores, it was a state title. As freshmen, another third-place finish.
"As a senior, yeah, that's crazy," Beethe said. "All four years I make it to state, all four years I've ended on a win. Like, that's insane."
Katie Mounce is a senior this year, but didn't play on the previous three teams.
"Those third-place trophies to us, they are devastating," Exeter-Milligan coach Darcy White said. "They were devastating losses having to play for third. And it shouldn’t be that way, but it is to us because we have so much confidence in our abilities. And our girls, they just expect to go out and win."
Seen: A trio of Husker volleyball players took a brief respite by the one of the Devaney Center tunnels to catch some of the Class C-2 final. Later, Lauren Stivrins and Hunter Atherton took seats in the stands to watch the fifth set of Superior's win. … During the Class B final, Nebraska head volleyball coach John Cook had his legs stretched out catching the final set of Omaha Skutt's third straight title. Skutt freshman Lindsay Krause is a Husker commit.
— john cook (@jcook2) November 11, 2017
Sportsmanship award winners: Omaha Marian (Class A), Omaha Duchesne (Class B), Grand Island Central Catholic (Class C-1), Hartington Cedar Catholic (Class C-2), BDS (Class D-1), Ewing (Class D-2).