McKenna Greenwell and the Pioneers volleyball team had an early morning Saturday at Fort Calhoun High School.

“We were not completely awake,” the junior libero said. “But, overall, we did really good.”

Coach James Slie's team bested both Winnebago and Logan View, improving to 3-1 and earning its home tournament title all just after the hour hand of the clock hit noon. The Pioneers clinched the championship 2-1 over the Raiders.

Freshman Olivia Quinlan finished the first set at 25-16 with a service ace, but Logan View battled back from a five-point deficit to beat Fort Calhoun 28-26 in the second.

“Everyone was very chaotic,” Greenwell said. “We were in our heads.”

But the Pioneers picked themselves up and started the deciding set fast. An Ellie Lienemann kill and a Madyson Back ace were among the highlights as Slie's team jumped out to a 13-5 advantage.

“Our goal was to start off very strong and put them in their place,” Greenwell said, laughing at the initial seriousness with which she ended the sentence.

Fort Calhoun used its early kick during the third set to win it, 25-17. It had similar starts in both sets against Winnebago, winning 25-13, 25-23. The last point against the Indians came when Alivia Cullen pushed the ball gently over the net and to the floor right next to the line on the right side.

“I feel like we're doing amazing. Every person is improving in everything,” Greenwell said of her Pioneers' 3-1 start at home. “Our offense is improving very well. Our serve receive is getting better. Overall, everything is getting better.”

FCHS pushes No. 5 Syracuse to 5 sets

Fort Calhoun's overall improvement showed Thursday when the team pushed Class C1 No. 5 Syracuse to five sets. The home team lost, but enthused by the effort.

The visiting Rockets improved to 2-0 with the 25-22, 22-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-13 win.

After dropping the first set, the Pioneers responded with victories in the next two. Syracuse jumped out to 10-7 lead in the fifth and wound up winning by two.

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