Lady Broncos rally to beat Med. Valley and Maxwell
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade volleyball team has kept its fans on the edge of their seats lately, rallying to pick up wins over Medicine Valley and Maxwell.
WP took on Medicine Valley at home Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The Broncos held a 19-15 lead late in set one, but the Raiders refused to go away. MV tied the game at 23, then pulled away to win 24-26.
Set two was also close. WP led the game 10-9 only to fall behind 11-18. WP fought back to tie the game at 23, but lost the set 23-25.
With its back to the wall, WP left no doubt in the third set, leading throughout the 25-16 win.
The Broncos kept the momentum in the fourth set. Once again, WP never trailed and won 25-18.
In the deciding fifth set, WP controlled much of the play, but found itself tied at 9-9.
Kills by Monique Gooden and Faith Simpson finished off the 15-11 victory.
Simpson had 45 kills on 68 attempts in the match, as well as 12 blocks. Gooden paced the team with 20 digs. Simpson had 14. Michaela Dukes had 42 assists in 79 attempts. From the service line, Simpson had eight aces; Gooden and Lanee Nordhausen each had three aces.
“I am so proud of our girls for bouncing back and not giving up after losing the first two sets to Medicine Valley,” said WP Head Coach Terra Higgins. “They played with a lot of heart and determination the last three sets. It was definitely a confidence booster for us going into conference on Monday.”
The excitement continued Monday in Benkelman when WP took on third-seeded Maxwell in the first round of the RPAC tournament.
WP came out hot, taking a 10-2 lead. As Maxwell’s net game picked up, so did the Wildcat’s chances. Maxwell nibbled away WP’s lead and the Broncos were unable to capitalize on match point, falling 24-26.
Maxwell led throughout set two and WP found itself down two sets with a 17-25 loss.
WP’s tournament run looked to end early as WP trailed 6-12. The Broncos didn’t fold, however. Turning its defensive game up a notch, WP tied the game at 12 and then 19, before pulling ahead to win 25-23.
With the wind knocked out of Maxwell’s sails, WP controlled set four. The Broncos forced a fifth set with a 25-15 win.
Simpson was big in the deciding set, notching 10 kills and leading WP to the 15-10 victory.
“The girls played hard in all five sets and never gave up,” Coach Higgins said. “Hustle plays won the game for us.”
Higgins also said WP’s hot start helped prepare it for the rest of the game.
Simpson had 31 kills in 64 attempts against Maxwell and added 14 blocks. Destiny Beacham served 24 times and had two aces.
WP’s tournament run ended in its following match, losing to second-seeded Dundy County-Stratton 13-25, 17-25, 13-25.
Simpson had 14 kills and nine digs. Gooden had two aces and served at 88 percent.
Higgins said the team didn’t block as well in the match and felt her team “ran out of steam.”
DCS advanced to face Wallace Tuesday in the semifinals. In the East bracket, Cambridge and Bertrand advanced.
Friday WP will take on Hitchcock County. The game will be a Pink Out and Parents’ Night. The JV contest will begin at 3:30 p.m. MT/4:30 p.m. CT.
Tuesday WP will host Wallace in its final home game before post season games begin Oct. 31. Games will begin at 4 p.m. MT/5 p.m. CT.