FIRTH — When Norris hosts its annual volleyball invitational, it’s often a good opportunity for the Titans to face a local rival — Waverly.
The Norris Invitational returned again this year, but Waverly and Norris couldn’t renew their Eastern Midlands Conference rivalry just yet. Instead, the invite had no championship game this year, with each of the four-team, round-robin pools staying confined to separate gyms to reduce contact.
Waverly and Norris brought their best, though, as both teams swept all three opponents they faced Saturday.
“Waverly is always a fun game to play and we were disappointed that we couldn’t play today, but everyone is just excited to be playing volleyball right now,” Norris coach Christina Boesiger said.
Class B No. 3 Norris (9-1) opened with wins over Columbus and Crete before taking on No. 8 Platteview in its final match of the day. Platteview kept the first set within three points until Norris pulled away late, and the Titans stormed away with an easy second-set victory as well, winning the match 25-17, 25-10.
“They did a really nice job staying true to who we are as a team, playing aggressive and maintaining our tempo,” Boesiger said. “I felt like they did that successfully in all three games.”
Meanwhile, No. 4 Waverly (7-1) also eased past Blair and Ralston in its first two matches before facing off against Seward. Waverly coach Terri Neujahr warned her team against getting sleepy and complacent in the hour-plus break before the final match, but it still took a few points for Waverly to find its groove.
Seward grabbed an 8-6 lead in the first set, but Waverly responded quickly as Bekka Allick shut down the Seward offense with four blocks in the set. Allick then scored six of Waverly’s first seven points in the second set as she combined power with finesse shots on offense.
“She is very dominant at the net and she affects how the other team sets up and where they attack, too,” Neujahr said.
Allick and Whitney Lauenstein finished the match with 10 kills apiece as Waverly comfortably closed out the 25-15, 25-16 win. While Waverly and Norris couldn’t meet for a championship game Saturday, the Titans will host the Vikings on Tuesday in a battle of two of the best teams in Class B.
“I think it’s one of the great rivalries in Class B and it doesn’t matter what sport it is,” Neujahr said. “Both schools take great pride in the rivalry itself and we get a lot of joy out of playing each other.”
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