Posted On: 05/13/16 7:13 PM

DES MOINES – Nebraska Juniors 181 took home the 18 Open title while VCNebraska 16 Elite and 15 Elite won the 16 Open and 15 Open titles, respectively, to lead a strong showing by Nebraska teams at the Midwest JVA Challenge in Des Moines last weekend.

In 18 Open, Nebraska Juniors 181 was playing a little short-handed as conference track and tennis meets caused the absences of Wayne State recruits Morgan Alexander (Ord) and Tarrin Beller (Humphrey-Lindsay Holy Family), Northern Colorado recruit Taylor Els (Lincoln Southwest) and Colorado State recruit Olivia Nicholson (North Platte). The team team still had plenty of fire power, however, to go undefeated in pool play on Saturday and sweep its opponents in the tournament quarterfinals and semifinals to reach the championship match against IPVA 17 Black – a team which had captured a USAV 17 Open bid at the Northern Light Qualifier.

In the first set of the final, IPVA jumped out to a 14-7 lead before Kelsey Green (Elkhorn South) went on a service tear that helped Nebraska Juniors eventually pull even at 18-18. Nebraska Juniors eventually wrapped up a 25-22 win in the first set on an ace serve by Raegan LeGrand (Papillion-LaVista South). IPVA, however, controlled the second set from the beginning en route to a 25-15 win to force a third set for the championship.

IPVA jumped out early in the third set as well with a quick 4-2 lead, but with setters Alex Neff (North Platte) and Cameron Scott (Gretna) running the show and libero Brittany Witt (Omaha Marian) anchoring the defense, Nebraska Juniors went on a 4-0 run with Elizabeth Loschen (Omaha Marian) having two kills and a block in that stretch to put Nebraska Juniors up 6-4.

IPVA eventually pulled within 10-9, but two kills and a  block by Lauren Hinrichs (Doniphan-Trumbull) helped get it to 14-10 and Aurora’s Kiley Hixson finished it with a kill on the outside to give Nebraska Juniors a 25-22, 15-25, 15-10 victory and the tournament title.

In the 16 Open final, VCNebraska 16 Elite won an exciting championship match with a 25-17, 25-27, 15-10 win over Adrenaline 16 ROX to cap a perfect 7-0 weekend.

Members of the VCNebraska 16 Elite team are: Michaela Boon, Kelsie Cada, Emily Champion, Alexa Easley, Madilyn Larson, Coree Lipovsky, Emma Ryan, Maggie Sempeck, Christian Thacker and Rachel Walker.

VCNebraska 15 Elite took the 15 Open championship with a 25-20, 25-18 win over Adrenaline 15 ROX and did not drop a set during the entire tournament.

Members of the VCNebraska 15 Elite team are: Emma Gabel, Grace Gokie, Delaney Humm, Elly Larson, Jadyn Makovicka, Anna McLain, Brooklyn Minzel, Erin Morgan and Alyssa Rezac.

Below is a list of how all teams from Nebraska did in the Midwest JVA Challenge.

18 Open

Nebraska Juniors 181 – 1st place

Nebraska Juniors 182 – tied for 5th place

River City Juniors 181 ROX – tied for 17th place

River City Juniors 182 ROX – tied for 21st place

17 Open

VCNebraska 17 Elite – tied for 3rd place

Nebraska Juniors 171 – tied for 5th place

Nebraska Juniors 172 – 11th place

River City Juniors 171 – 13th place

Nebraska Extreme – 14th place

17 Club

Nebraska Elite 16 Mojo – tied for 5th place

VCNebraska 17 Black – tied for 5th place

River City Juniors 172 ROX – 11th place

TeamMagic Ammo 171 – 15th place

16 Open

VCNebraska 16 Elite – 1st place

Nebraska Juniors 161 – tied for 5th place

VCNebraska 16 Black – tied for 5th place

River City Juniors 161 – tied for 9th place

TeamMagic Deception 161 – 14th place

TeamMagic Chargers 162 – tied for 17th place

Nebraska Juniors 162 – 19th place

River City Juniors 162 – tied for 21st place

TeamMagic Hybrid 163 – tied for 23rd place

15 Open

VCNebraska 15 Elite – 1st place

Nebraska Elite 15 Kekoa – tied for 3rd place

Nebraska Elite 15 Fortis – tied for 5th place

VCNebraska 15 Black – tied for 5th place

Nebraska Juniors 141 – tied for 13th place

Nebraska Juniors 151 – tied for 13th place

Nebraska Juniors 142 – 16th place

Papillion Volleyball Club 15U Club – tied for 18th place

VCNebraska 15 Blue – 20th place

14 Open

VCNebraska 14 Elite – 2nd place

VCNebraska 14 Black – tied for 3rd place

Papillion Volleyball Club 14U National – tied for 5th place

VCNebraska 14 Blue – tied for 5th place

River City Juniors 141 ROX – tied for 5th place

TeamMagic Platinum 141 – tied for 5th place

VCNebraska 14 White – tied for 13th place

Nebraska Juniors 131 – 17th place

River City Juniors 142 ROX – tied for 18th place

Papillion Volleyball Club 14U Club – 20th place

13 Open

River City Juniors 131 ROX – 2nd place

River City Juniors 132 ROX – 3rd place

Papillion Volleyball Club 13U Club – 4th place

Papillion Volleyball Club 13U National – 8th place

12 Open

River City Juniors 121 ROX – tied for 3rd place

River City Juniors 111 ROX – tied for 5th place

Papillion Volleyball Club 12U National – 7th place

River City Juniors 122 ROX – 8th place