In best-of-three matches, it's important to start fast.
“Finishing that first set really put us ahead for the game,” Fort Calhoun senior Megan Johnson said Saturday after her team won its home tournament.
The Pioneers bested David City 25-22 during the first set of the championship game. They won the second, too, 25-17, to cap a 2-0 day.
“Playing as a team and communicating with each other,” freshman Raegen Wells said when asked what put her team over the top.
“We played very well together,” Johnson added.
Fort Calhoun actually trailed the first set against the Scouts 20-17 before coming back to win it. Ellie Lienemann's kill pulled the home team within two points before she and Olivia Quinlan combined for a block to cut the David City advantage to one.
Rianna Wells and Johnson added an ace and a block down the stretch, respectively, as the Pioneers went ahead 1-0.
During the second set, coach James Slie's squad built a 7-6 advantage and never looked back. Alivia Cullen's block put her team ahead 15-10 before Raegen Wells' kill pushed that lead to 20-13. Rianna Wells won a ball at the net for an eight-point advantage, Lienemann fired a kill down the line and Johnson provided the final hit of the day at Fort Calhoun High School.
Earlier, the Pioneers routed Winnebago to reach the final against David City. It swept through 2-0, winning the first set 25-5 before claiming the second 25-10. Rianna Wells' serve streak highlighted the first before McKenna Greenwell, Raegen Wells, Ellie Collins, Cullen, Lienemann and she notched service aces during the second. Tilden Nottlemann notched a pair of kills, too.
Fort Calhoun sweeps 5-2 Brownell-Talbot
The Pioneers followed up their tournament victory with a home win against 5-2 Omaha Brownell-Talbot on Tuesday.
“We won in three, but not in a pretty way,” Slie said. “Play was rough, but we pulled it out.”
Lienemann, an outside hitter, and Rianna Wells were the match standouts as FCHS won 26-24, 25-15 and 25-20. The win pushed the Pioneers to 4-1 this season.