The Blair volleyball team's visit to Class B No. 2 Elkhorn on Thursday resulted in the Bears' third-straight loss to open the season.
The Antlers earned the 25-14, 25-10, 25-23 victory, but coach Brandi Nicholson's team didn't leave empty handed. BHS left with more valuable knowledge.
“When we go into timeouts, we can tell Brandi what we're doing wrong because we know,” senior Emma Cada said. She added that the Bears are clear on their weaknesses. “I think that's going to be very helpful throughout the season. We know what we need to fix and we're going to fix it.”
Blair seemingly fixed some of its shortcomings as Thursday's match went on. After Elkhorn earned conclusive victories during the first and second sets, the Bears made it earn the third with back-and-forth competitive play. The road team even led 21-18 late.
“We did really well focusing on passing and just getting it over (the net),” BHS senior Morgan Potts said. “We went back to the simple stuff.”
Three early Schuyler Roewert kills helped the Bears play even volleyball through the first 20 points. From there, Cada took over.
The senior scored Blair points on a tip between blockers, a back row kill, a kill off of an Antler block and an ace as her team went ahead 17-15.
“My favorite is definitely hitting ones in the middle when they don't know I'm left handed,” Cada said. “I can just go right around them.”
Potts' kill through an Elkhorn block made the lead 18-16, but the Antlers eventually earned the win — their sixth of the young season. Blair, meanwhile, left the gym winless Thursday, but not without hope. The Bears' preparation had them hopeful going into Saturday's tournament in Hickman.
“In practice, we're focusing on the stuff we mess up on and improving in that,” Potts said. “We just get better and better every time.”
Unfortunately for BHS, its progression didn't lead to victories at the Norris Tournament. The Bears fell to Waverly (25-15, 25-11), Seward (25-13, 25-14) and Ralston (25-19, 25-18), and are 0-6 this season.
FCHS competes in Malcolm tourney
The Fort Calhoun volleyball team struggled Thursday and Saturday during a two-day Malcolm Tournament.
The Pioneers finished with just one win in five matches. It earned that victory 2-0 against Fairbury on Saturday, winning the first set 25-20 and the second 25-16.
Coach James Slie team then dropped matches to the host Clippers and Louisville. It fell to Malcolm 25-12, 25-17 and to the Lions 25-27, 25-19, 25-19.
The Pioneers opened tourney play Thursday, dropping back-to-back matches to Centennial and Ashland-Greenwood. They lost both 2-0.
Fort Calhoun actually led Centennial 20-18 during the first set, but wound up falling 25-23. It lost the second set 25-16.
Ashland, meanwhile, topped coach Slie's squad 25-20, 25-13. The Pioneers are 5-5 this season.