Lincoln Lutheran steamrolled its way to the Warriors' first Centennial Conference volleyball championship since 2005 Saturday at Aquinas High School in David City.
After going undefeated in pool play, Lutheran faced Grand Island Central Catholic in the final. Lutheran's Marriah Buss dominated the entire match with a match-high 18 kills as the Warriors swept the Crusaders 25-19, 25-22 to win the tournament.
"It's been a goal of the girls to win the conference championship a number of years," Lutheran coach Sue Ziegler said. "The past few seasons we've had some talented teams that could be successful at accomplishing that, but fell short.
"This was a major accomplishment for these seniors, especially that have been part of those teams."
Kelli Megrue, Ziegler's daughter and a Lutheran assistant coach, was a senior on that 2005 championship team. The Warriors were state runner-up that year.
Ashlyn DeBoer added four ace serves and eight digs against Grand Island Central Catholic, and Paige Trutna had 17 set assists.
In their second match of pool play, the Warriors battled with top seed Hastings St. Cecilia. Lutheran won the first set 25-22 but trailed much of the second. However, the Warriors came back to win a thriller 29-27, led by Buss's 16 kills, to clinch the match and their pool.
Lutheran did not drop a set the entire conference tournament.
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Eastern Midlands Conference: After losing to Waverly in two previous meetings during the season, Norris finally broke through to beat the Vikings and win the tourney title in Blair.
The Titans beat Waverly in three sets, 25-23, 19-25, 27-25.
“Today we really came out and focused more on our side of the net. It was really trusting to see them carry stuff over from practice and have that consistency that wasn’t there when we played Waverly before,” said Norris coach Christina Boesiger.
Trailing 24-20 late in the third set, Norris needed a spark. It got one from sophomore Maisie Boesiger, who went back to serve. She served four straight points to tie up the match at 24. Two kills later, the Titans were the champions.
The offense was there all day for the Titans as they had six players with 10 or more kills in the tournament.
“Having that balance with all of the hitters today really made us successful and allowed us to play our best volleyball of the season so far,” said Christina Boesiger.
Ella Waters led the way for Norris in the championship match, getting 17 kills, and Brianna Stai had seven. Maisie Boesiger had 31 service assists and five kills, while Molly Ramsey and Paige Wilkinson each had 13 digs.