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Lady Indians Place 2nd in Oberlin Invitational

So close! The Lady Indians were narrowly defeated (21-25, 23-25) by a good Rawlins County team in the championship match of the Oberlin Invitational Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, September 30. To qualify for the championship match, the Lady Indians defeated Norton, Hoxie, and Decatur Community in straight sets. The Lady Indians played well throughout the day and were only a few plays away from winning the championship. St. Francis defeated Norton in their first match of the tournament 25-11, 26-24. The Lady Indians then beat a good Hoxie team 25-12, 25-20 before winning over Decatur Community 25-18. 25-23. The tournament also had a division for junior varsity competition, but St. Francis did not participate in the junior varsity division due to low player numbers.

Below are the complete results from the tournament.

Varsity Division Junior Varsity Division
Rawlins Co. defeated  Decatur Community 25-19, 25-21 Norton defeated Rawlins Co. 18-25, 25-13, 15-10
St. Francis defeated Norton 25-11, 26-24 Hoxie defeated Norton 25-21, 19-25, 15-11
Rawlins Co. defeated Hoxie 26-24, 17-25, 27-25 Rawlins Co. defeated Decatur Community 25-15, 25-17
Norton defeated Decatur Community 25-18, 26-24 McCook defeated Hoxie 25-27, 25-12, 15-6
St. Francis defeated Hoxie 25-12, 25-20 Norton defeated Decatur Community 18-25, 25-16, 15-9
Rawlins Co. defeated Norton 25-21, 27-25 Hoxie defeated Rawlins Co. 25-23, 17-25, 16-14
St. Francis defeated Decatur Community 25-18, 25-23 McCook defeated Norton 25-20, 21-25, 15-6
Hoxie defeated Norton 25-18, 25-20 McCook defeated Rawlins Co. 25-15, 25-15
Rawlins Co. defeated St. Francis 25-21, 25-23 Hoxie defeated Decatur Community 22-25, 25-13, 15-9
Hoxie defeated Decatur Community 25-15, 25-14  

Team Placings:  1. Rawlins County 4-0, 2. St. Francis 3-1, 3. Hoxie 2-2, 4. Norton 1-3, 5. Decatur Community 0-4

Team Placings:  1. McCook 3-0, 2. Hoxie 3-1, 3. Norton 2-2, 4. Rawlins Co. 1-3, 5. Decatur Community 0-3

Norton

St. Francis jumped all over Norton early in set one earning a large lead and cruising to a lop-sided victory. Though the Lady Bluejays had superior height, the Lady Indians executed much better and found ways to score over, through, and around the Norton front-line. Norton scored the first point of set one on a stuff by Hadley Houser (Jr.). An ace by Lauren Johnson put St. Francis in front 2-1, and the Lady Indians never trailed again in the set. A six-point run by the Lady Indians moved the score to 8-2 and caused Norton to call a time-out. The run included two kills by Lindsey Johnson and a tip-kill by Hanna Bracelin. After the time-out, Norton scored on a tip, but followed with a missed service attempt. The Lady Indians then reeled off five consecutive points to lead 13-3. This run featured a kill by Taighe Weeter and an ace by Karly Bandel. The run ended on a crushing spike by Houser. A four-point SF run, all coming on Norton miscues, extended the margin to 17-5.  With some substitute players receiving playing time for St. Francis, the game proceeded. Emma Johnson's set led to the next SF kill by Bracelin. Hannah Zimbal then earned a kill (19-6) for the Lady Indians. Consecutive kills by Emma Johnson moved the scoreboard to 21-8. St. Francis won set one 25-11.

The next set was much closer as the Lady Bluejays play improved greatly. Though the Lady Indians only allowed one 3-point run in the first set, the Bluejays scored runs of 5, 5, 4, 3, and 4 to nearly pull off a come-from-behind win in set two. The Lady Jays earned two aces plus a stuff and kill by Hadley Houser en route to a 3-5 lead in set two. The Lady Indians then reeled off a 9-point run to take a 12-5 lead. The run resulted from kills by Lauren Johnson, Jessica Confer (2), and Hanna Bracelin; an ace by Karly Bandel; as well as some Norton miscues. Though it looked as if the Lady Indians might run away with this set just like the first, Norton continued to battle. A 3-point Norton run, all coming on SF errors, trimmed the margin to 15-10. A deep-tip and stuff-block by Bracelin and an ace by Taighe Weeter helped extend the advantage back to 19-12. Norton then completed a 4-point run including a stuff by Houser and an ace and dump-set by Avery Miller (Fr.). The run narrowed the margin to 20-17. The next Norton run included two SF errors and kill by Taryn Kuhn (Jr.) and trimmed the lead to 21-20. The Lady Bluejays eventually took the lead (22-24) on kills by Houser and Jessica Ambrosier (Sr.). The Lady Indians responded positively, earning kills by Lauren Johnson and Hanna Bracelin (2), and receiving an Norton attack error after an outstanding dig by Taighe Weeter. St. Francis scored the last four points of the match to win 26-24.

Hoxie

The Lady Indians closed both sets of the the Hoxie match with extended runs to seal a victory. Though Hoxie and St. Francis battled evenly early, the Lady Indians dominated the second half of set one. St. Francis took a 4-1 lead on a 4-point run that included a kill by Lindsey Johnson, a tip-kill by Jessica Confer, and two attacks into the net by Hoxie. Hoxie tied the match on a kill by Trinity Balluch (Jr.), but the Lady Indians recorded a kill by Hanna Bracelin and two aces by Karly Bandel to lead 7-4. The St. Francis advantage grew to four (9-5) on a Hoxie attack error, but an ace by Rebekah Castle (Sr.) and two kills by Macy Schamberger narrowed the advantage to 10-8. Two St. Francis errors tied the game at 10-all. Castle followed with smashing kill to give Hoxie an 10-11 lead. An illegal alignment call on Hoxie tied the set. Another Schamberger kill placed Hoxie up one (11-12). Hoxie would not score again, as the Lady Indians defensive play was excellent digging up Hoxie's attacks and countering with aggressive offense of their own. St. Francis completed a 14-point run to close the set. The run began with a kill by Emileigh Dinkel and included kills by Bracelin, Lindsey Johnson (2), an ace by Lauren Johnson, and three kills by Jessica Confer. The Lady Indians had rolled over a very good Hoxie team, 25-12, in set one.

Hoxie began set two with a 4-point run getting a kill from Rebekah Castle and an ace serve from Lilly Schamberger. The Hoxie lead increased to 1-6 after two St. Francis miscues. The Lady Indians closed the gap to 5-6 on a stuff block by Jessica Confer nullifying an spike by Macy Schamberger. The next volley ended with a kill by M. Schamberger, but Hoxie missed a service attempt aiding the SF cause. A 4-point SF run, behind some strong serves by Jessica Confer, included an over-pass kill by Hanna Bracelin. The run moved the Lady Indian advantage to 10-7. After another Schamberger kill, a 3-point run increased the St. Francis lead to 13-8. The run was aided by a back-row kill by Karly Bandel and a Bracelin ace. Then it was Hoxie's turn. A Hoxie run, beginning with a kill by L. Schamberger and including kills by Rebekah Castle (3) and Trinity Balluch, gave Hoxie a one point lead (14-15). A back-row kill by Bracelin tied the set, but Hoxie took a two-point lead with a kill by Castle and an ace by Brooke Dorenkamp (Sr.) before missing a serve. The lead returned to two (16-18) on an extended volley that included an outstanding dig by Lauren Johnson and ended with a well-placed tip by Castle. A stuff-block on a Bracelin attack widened the spread to 16-19 and triggered a St. Francis time-out. A couple Hoxie attack errors narrowed the deficit. Like they had done in set one, the Lady Indians finished well scoring 7 unanswered points to close the match. The run was fueled by some aggressive serves by Jessica Confer, including one ace, as well as some exciting defensive plays and strong attacks by the Lady Indians. St. Francis won set two 25-20.

Decatur Community

The Lady Indians did not play quite as well against Decatur Community (DC) as they had earlier in the day, but still executed well enough to earn a two-set win over the quickly improving Lady Red Devils. The Lady Indians only allowed three runs of three-or-more points in the two-set match due to consistent play. The Lady Indians had 8 runs of three-or-more points during the match. Though the Lady Indians opened set one with a missed serve, they scored on 7 of the next 8 volleys to take a 7-2 lead. Another missed serve divided the two runs. The set continued back-and-forth until the Lady Indians exploded for eight straight points to earn a 21-9 advantage. The run included kills by Hanna Bracelin, Jessica Confer, and an ace by Madison Tice. Unfortunately, the run ended on another missed serve that started a 6-point DC run. The Lady Red Devils scored on two aces and a kill by Anna Carter (So.) during the run. Confer's tip-kill ended the run and moved the scoreboard to 22-15. The teams battled to a final 25-18 score in favor of the Lady Indians.

Set two was very close throughout with the greatest point-spread being 4 points. Decatur Community opened with an ace serve and a Carter kill to take a 0-3 lead. A tip by Taighe Weeter pulled the Lady Indians within two (4-6) but a missed serve again added to the DC side of the scoreboard. A deep-tip by Hanna Bracelin was followed by a strong kill by sophomore Alyssa Van Vleet maintaining the margin. A four-point Lady Indian run ending with a kill by Lindsey Johnson eventually tied the set at 9-all. The Lady Red Devils responded with a 3-point burst getting a kill from Van Vleet and a stuff from Carter before recording a missed serve. The widest margin in the match came after a St. Francis hitting error moved the score to 10-14. Kills by Lindsey Johnson and Jessica Confer (2) followed and caused a DC time-out at 13-14. Another Carter kill followed the time-out. The Lady Devils stretched their advantage to 15-17 on kills by Jean Soderlund (Jr.) and Brittney Wesley (Sr.). The next 3-point run, including a back-row attack by Tice and a kill by Bracelin, placed the Lady Indians at a 18-17 advantage. Unfortunately, the momentum changed on a missed serve and an ace given up by the Lady Indians (18-19). The Lady Indians ended the next four volleys with a score getting a deep-tip from Bracelin, a kill from Lauren Johnson, and an ace from Bracelin, as well as a double-hit call on the Lady Red Devils. The score moved to 22-19. The run ended with a crushing spike from Van Vleet. Though the Lady Devils trimmed the deficit to one point (23-22), the Lady Indians earned a kill from Lauren Johnson and stuff-block by Lindsey Johnson on a Carter attack to close the match. St. Francis defeated Decatur Community 25-23.

Rawlins County 

As expected, the Rawlins County - St. Francis match was very closely competed. Both teams entered the match undefeated on the day and ready to compete for the tournament championship. After exchanging points early in the set one, and being tied at 5-all, Rawlins County exploded for nine consecutive points to lead 5-14. The run included two kills by Kristen Beckman (So.) and one by Angie Singhateh (Jr.) plus several errors by the Lady Indians. The deficit grew to 10 points on another kill by Singhateh (6-16). The Lady Indians had dug themselves into a deep hole, but they did not quit, and with grit and effort nearly battled their way back. A 4-point Lady Indian run trimmed the deficit to 10-16 and triggered a RC time-out. The run included two RC attack errors and two extremely long volleys. A tip kill by Lauren Johnson and a Emmileigh Dinkel kill off an attempted block ended two the volleys. After the time-out, Singhateh recorded another kill, but St. Francis then scored four consecutive points to close within three (14-17). In the run, Lauren Johnson recorded a deep-tip kill and Lindsey Johnson added a stuff-block. Soon, the margin grew to five (14-19), but a Lindsey Johnson tip and an ace by Madison Tice narrowed the deficit again. After traded kills by Beckman and Lindsey Johnson, a kill by Amy Crouse (Jr.) moved the score to 17-21. The Lady Indians moved within two (19-21), but could not overcome the large early deficit. St. Francis lost set one to Rawlins County 21-25.

Set two was even closer. Each team recorded two runs in the set, and the point-spread never grew to more than three points. Kills by Emilegh Dinkel and Jessica Confer helped arrive at a 4-4 tie. A kill by Lindsey Johnson tied the set at 5, and one by Hanna Bracelin tied the set at 6. Jessica Confer's ace serve gave the Lady Indians their first lead of the set at 7-6. Three St. Francis errors and a nice stuff-block on a back-row attack gave the Lady Buffaloes a four-point run and moved the scoreboard to 8-11. St. Francis answered with a four-point run of their own, all coming on Lady Buffs attack errors, to lead 12-11. Kills by Dinkel and Bracelin gave St. Francis a two-point advantage, 14-12, and triggered a RC time-out. Consecutive kills by Beckman tied the match at 15-all. An exchange of kills by Bracelin and Singhateh retied the match at 16. A deep-tip kill by Lauren Johnson and an aggressive kill by Bracelin again gave the Lady Indians a two-point lead (18-16). St. Francis held the narrow lead getting kills from Lindsey Johnson and Jessica Confer en route to a 22-20 score. Three consecutive attacks by RC's Beckman ended in points for the Lady Buffs. The first was a kill by Beckman and the last two were passing errors made when trying to play Beckman's powerful attacks. A St. Francis attack error moved the scoreboard to 22-24. Madi TIce's 1st-ball-over kill pulled the Lady Indians with one (23-24), but a St. Francis attack that found the net ended the match. The Lady Indians had battled hard and played well, but lost to a good Rawlins County team, 23-25.

The Lady Indians will play Greeley County, in St. Francis, on Monday, October 2.

Click the photos to see more photos!

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

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