Both gyms at Blair High School were busy Saturday as the Bears hosted the seven-team Eastern Midlands Conference (EMC) Tournament.

The host Bears played three matches, going 1-2 against second-seeded Norris, No. 6 Nebraska City and No. 4 Plattsmouth. They lost to the eventual EMC champion Titans, beat the Pioneers and dropped the fifth-place match to the Blue Devils.

The 18-25, 25-15, 25-23 win against Nebraska City (NC) was Blair's second of the season. It last won Sept. 14 against Ralston.

“Emma Cada played lights out during the NC match,” Bears coach Brandi Nicholson said. “She had numerous digs, a lot of kills and served very well.”

The coach noted the play of setter Grace Wibbels and two defensive specialists, too.

“Emma Thoene and Megan McKeon played awesome defense, too,” she said.

The victory earned Blair the fifth-place game berth against Plattsmouth, which the Blu Devils won 25-18, 25-13.

The championship Norris team, meanwhile, dominated BHS. It won back-to-back sets 25-5 to advance to the tournament semifinals.

In defeat, the Bears did have a few highlights. Wibbels had a late ace during the first set, while Madyson Ray and Carley Damme had kills during the second. Damme hit the ball to the back row on her first before having another attack returned directly out of bounds.

The Bears are 2-18 this season.

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