Pioneers lose volleyball match in 4 sets against Raymond Central

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By Grant Egger – [email protected]

Fort Calhoun’s volleyball team had strong leads in all but one of their four sets with Raymond Central on Thursday.
Coming into three games Saturday at Tekamah-Herman, the Pioneers (6-8 overall) edged the Mustangs at home, but lost 22-25, 25-23, 25-19 and 25-19.
“I think we kind of let off the accelerator at the wrong time and didn’t recover fast enough,” FCHS coach Liz Sevcik said.
His team edged Raymond Central 11-4 in the first set of their comeback week match. Senior Grace Genoways had a pair of aces serves on the run, while Shelby Dorau and Madison Buczkowski teamed up for a block to top it off.
“Especially in that first set, I think it was one of the best blocks we’ve seen, probably, all year,” Sevcik said. “They were getting a lot of touches on the ball. They were really shutting down, shutting that down, which really helped us in that first set.
Even so, however, a drop in score cost Calhoun his advantage. The Mustangs led a 16-5 series, forcing the home side into a 20-16 timeout.
The Pioneers returned, however.
First, Buczkowski beat a block to pull his team in under three. Dorau’s block then only produced a 20-18 deficit.
FCHS knockouts by Raegen Wells and Dorau tied the game 21-21 before setter Olivia Quinlan tapped the ball in quickly for a one-point advantage. Mollie Dierks’ kill in the back row – set up by a Quinlan dive, which saved the point – pushed that lead to two as Ruby Garmong’s serve streak built.
Sevcik said several things had to go right to produce the return of the first set.
“I think it’s having the right people serving, not missing out on our services,” she said. “It’s also about playing smart volleyball and communicating. When we communicate, we play much better.
Unfortunately for a large home crowd at the Fort Calhoun Youth Sports Organization night, the visitors at Raymond Central were better in the next three sets. Abbey Lienemann, Dorau and Wells had kills early in the second set to produce a 9-6 lead, but the Mustangs won 25-23.
Raymond then led throughout the third set before attacks from Lienemann, Wells and Buczkowski gave an early 6-3 lead in the fourth. Another slump cost the Pioneers dearly, however, as the road team built a 20-11 advantage.
FCHS fought back when Dierks’ ace reduced their disadvantage to 22-18, but it wasn’t enough. The Mustangs won 3-1 despite outstanding efforts from several Pioneer contributors.
“Buczkowski was shoving her butt on that save and a few others where she was all over the place,” Sevcik said, recounting the highlights of the game.
She said Dorau also made some smart plays at net.
“They both stood out,” the coach continued. “Abbey also had a good hitting game tonight. It was good to see.
Fort Calhoun just didn’t have enough Thursday to beat Raymond Central at home.
“Hopefully we can get everyone shooting at the same time,” Sevcik said. “That would be great.”

Pioneers go 1-2 at Tekamah
FCHS finished fourth Saturday in a Tekamah-Herman tournament.
The Pioneers beat Omaha Roncalli first before 2-0 losses to Bancroft-Rosalie and the host Tigers. They beat Pride by a pair of tight sets, 25-22 and 25-21, before also playing tight sets in the loss.
Coach Sevcik’s team lost a 29-27 set against Bancroft and a 25-23 set against Tekamah.
Calhoun will next play Thursday against Ashland-Greenwood. Home college game starts at 7 p.m.

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