Posted On: 09/5/15 5:01 AM

BELLEVUE – If Friday night’s match between top-ranked Omaha Marian and #3 North Platte at the Bellevue Invitational is any indication of the kind of season we are in for in Class A, you better buckle up.

In a pool-play match that had all the emotion of a postseason match, including a standing-room only crowd around the court, the Bulldogs knocked off the two-time defending Class A champions 29-27, 18-25, 28-26.

In both the first and third sets, North Platte had to fight off multiple set points for Marian. With the first set tied 22-22, Marian rattled off two straight to get to 24-22, but a pair of Crusader errors evened it at 24-24. Then, with the set tied at 27-27, Allison Kuenle got two straight kills to give North Platte a 29-27 win.

Marian controlled the second set from the beginning and won 25-18 to force the third set. In the third set, both teams battled evenly throughout, but a kill by Marian sophomore Sarah Wing got the Crusaders to match point at 24-22. A kill by Kuenle and a four-hit violation on Marian evened the score at 24-24 and a hitting error by Marian gave North Platte match point. But, senior Sophia Terwilleger recorded one of her 16 kills in the match to tie it again at 25-25.

Another kill by Kuenle was matched by Marian’s Lily Heim to even the score again at 26-26. It looked like Marian was going to move ahead when North Platte setter Alex Neff and middle Josie Cox mis-timed a connection, but the Crusaders were called for being in the net, giving the Bulldogs a 27-26 lead. A hitting error by Marian ended the match and gave North Platte the victory.

Both North Platte and Marian advanced to Saturday’s championship bracket, which could potentially lead to a rematch for the tournament title tomorrow afternoon. While North Platte won Pool A and Marian was second, Millard North finished third with a 25-14, 25-15 win over Bellevue East.

In Pool B, Papillion-LaVista impressively swept all three of its opponents to finish first while Sioux City Heelan finished second thanks to a 25-17, 32-30 win over Omaha Westside. Westside beat Omaha Burke 25-9, 25-15 to finish third in the pool.

In Pool C, Omaha Skutt won all three of its matches by a 2-0 score to win the pool while Western Christian of Iowa defeated Bellevue West 25-13, 25-23 to finish second. Bellevue West beat Lincoln Northeast 25-19, 25-18 to finish third in its pool.

In Pool D, Papillion-LaVista South defeated Lincoln Southeast 25-17, 27-25 for first place and Southeast finished second. Lincoln East defeated Millard South 25-18, 25-13 to finish third in the pool.

Those pool results means the championship quarterfinal tomorrow will be as follows:

9 a.m. – North Platte vs. Western Christian
9 a.m. – Omaha Skutt vs. Omaha Marian
10:30 a.m. – Papillion-LaVista South vs. Sioux City Heelan
10:30 a.m. – Papillion-LaVista vs. Lincoln Southeast

Semifinals:

12:45 p.m. – North Platte/Western Christian winner vs. Papillion-LaVista South/Heelan winner
12:45 p.m. – Omaha skutt/Omaha Marian winner vs. Papillion-LaVista/Lincoln Southeast Winner

Championship – 3:15 p.m.

Here are the quarterfinals for the consolation bracket:

9 a.m. – Millard North vs. Lincoln Northeast
9 a.m. – Bellevue West vs. Bellevue East
10:30 a.m. – Lincoln East vs. Omaha Burke
10:30 a.m. – Omaha Westside vs. Millard South