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Thunder Start Strong But End Season in 3A State Pool Play
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/02/2019

It was no surprise that Nemaha Central was ready to roll when the 3A State Volleyball Tournament started on Friday morning.  After all, it was the fourth straight appearance and fifth time in the last six seasons for the Thunder to qualify for State.  But after winning their first three sets of pool play, Nemaha dropped their next four games and finished their season with a record of 28-16. As it turned out, the Thunder were the only team to beat Big 7 foe Royal Valley in a game at Hutchinson before the Panthers went on the claim the State Championship. 

Nemaha started state by sweeping Frontenac 31-29 and 25-20.  They survived a couple game points for the Raiders before finally capatilizing on their own fifth set point opportunity to win game one. The Thunder had jumped to an early 7-1 lead in that first set before #2 seed Frontenac mounted a comeback. Nemaha again jumped out early 5-1 in the second set and built the lead up to six on two occassions before posting the second game victory.  

Nemaha Cental then beat Royal Valley 25-23, a game in which they led 16-8 and 19-11 at one point before holding on late.  Yet, the Panthers dominated set two taking an early 10-1 lead before winning 25-17. In the third game, Nemaah led 3-0 and 5-2, but after ties at six, seven and eight, Royal Valley went ahead for good 9-8 and build a five point chushion at 15-10 before pulling away for the win. 

The Lady Thunder then lost their final match to Silver Lake 25-23 and 25-20 which ultimately decided who finished runner-up in the pool and advanced to the semifinals. The defending state champion, Silver Lake would go on to place 3rd on Saturday. Nemaha Central couldn't get a lead in the second half of either set with the Eagles despite playing super competitive.  

Coach Jessica Koch's squad had five seniors on the state roster in: Aydan Bass, Allison Koch, Alleigh Kramer, Kirsten Lortscher and Lexi Leuger, who all played vital roles.     


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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