Posted On: 10/12/13 9:44 PM
GRAND ISLAND – Morgan Nikkila’s 12th kill of the match for Hastings St. Cecilia had no more hit the floor before Columbus Scotus coach John Peterson was out of his chair and calling for a timeout.
Peterson’s team had dropped the first set to the Hawkettes in the championship match of the Centennial Conference Tournament and his Shamrocks were clinging to a 15-12 lead in the second set when he called the timeout. It was in that 60 seconds that Scotus discussed adjustments to stop Nikkila.
Whatever Peterson said in that timeout worked, as the Shamrocks, 19-1 and ranked No. 1 in Class C-1, held Nikkila to just four kills the rest of the way en route to a 18-25, 25-15, 25-21 victory in the title match.
Nikkila had nine of her match-high 17 kills in a blistering first set for St. Cecilia, 19-6 and ranked No. 1 Class C-2, which controlled the game from start to finish. Scotus turned the tables in set two, jumping out to an 8-3 lead.
St. Cecilia slowly chipped away at that lead, however, and Nikkila’s pre-timeout kill capped a 6-3 run by the Hawkettes to make it 15-12. Following the timeout, St. Cecilia went right back to Nikkila, but the Shamrocks’ Kylie Rollman and Kimberly Stutzman combined to block her twice in a row for points, sparking Scotus on a 10-3 run to end the set and send the match to set three.
In the third set, Peterson adjusted his starting rotation to get Rollman in position to block Nikkila from the front row on two rotations. That, along with a 6-1 spurt by the Shamrocks in the middle of the set, helped secure the title for Scotus.
With the third game tied at 8-8, a St. Cecilia hitting error sandwiched between two Payton Chohon kills for Scotus pushed the Shamrocks out to an 11-8 lead. After a Scotus hitting error, the Shamrocks got kills from Carley Foltz and Rollman and a hitting error from St. Cecilia to build the lead to 14-9. The Hawkettes were never able to get closer than three points the rest of the way.
Chohon led Scotus with 10 kills while Rollman finished with eight and four blocks. Foltz and Sarah Schumacher each had seven kills. Along with Nikkila’s 17 kills, Josie Prevette had 10 kills and two blocks for St. Cecilia and Lil Sheehy had eight kills and Clare Hamburger dished out 37 assists and had four kills of her own.
Omaha Concordia, ranked #4 in Class C-1 defeated Grand Island Central Catholic 25-20, 25-22 in the third-place match. Junior Megan Wickey had 10 kills, two blocks and two aces for the Mustangs while Averey Yaksich had five kills and Faith Johnson contributed three blocks.
Samantha Moravec led Grand Island Central Catholic with nine kills.
In the semifinals, Scotus beat Grand Island Central Catholic 25-19, 27-25 and St. Cecilia topped Concordia 25-20, 25-23.
Lincoln Christian battled back from a first-round loss to Grand Island Central Catholic to win the consolation final and finish fifth.