It’s not often a team can beat Class A No. 4 Omaha Marian twice in a season, let alone twice in 24 hours, but that’s what it took for No. 3 Papillion-La Vista to capture the LPS Classic volleyball crown.
The Monarchs outlasted the Crusaders in three sets on Friday night to claim the top spot in the tournament’s Pool A, then rolled through Saturday’s Gold bracket before they met none other than defending state champion Marian in the final at Lincoln Southeast.
Saturday was another three-set thriller between the two teams, and just like Friday night, the Monarchs won in three sets, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, to claim the LPS tournament title.
“I’m very proud of how this team competed in this tournament and I’m going to let them enjoy this, but right now it’s onward and we look forward to the next,” Papio coach Ashley Beccard said. “We’re happy to win this tournament, though, because even when we were down, we found a way to put the ball down, but it’s still on to the next.”
The Monarchs rolled in the first set and it looked like it could be a quick match, but the Crusaders responded. They capitalized on several Papio errors and ran away with the second set despite a late charge from the Monarchs.
Between the second and third sets, Beccard made sure her team was prepared to earn a tournament title.
“(Before the third set) I said, ‘I want this so bad for you guys, you need to go out and take it,’ and they did a good job of getting the lead and keeping the lead,” Beccard said.
Marian and Papio got to the final with semifinal wins over No. 7 Lincoln Southwest and No. 2 Lincoln Pius X, respectively.
The Silver Hawks and Thunderbolts battled for the second time in two days for third place in the tournament and third time overall. Pius X prevailed again 25-16, 25-22.
“We kind of came out flat against Papillion, but going 5-1 overall in this tournament, I’ll take that form,” Pius X coach Katie Wenz said. “It’s fun (to be 3-0 against Southwest), this one didn’t go three sets, but we know every time we take it from them they want it more, so we just have to keep focus against them in the future.”
Elkhorn defeated Lincoln East, 25-21, 25-21 to win the Silver bracket at Lincoln Southwest.