The Class B No. 4 Elkhorn North volleyball team visited Blair High School on Tuesday and left 3-0 victors, sweeping coach Becca Mellema's squad 25-12, 25-12 and 25-10.
The Bears (4-7 overall) lost in the absence of their starting setter, Reece Ewoldt, but their coach was proud of how the team responded with the sophomore out of action.
“It was actually as seamless as it could have been,” Mellema said.
Though BHS expects Ewoldt back soon, senior regular Olivia Fitchhorn proved she can fill the spot on the floor — even on short notice.
“She did pretty well, especially considering having only a little bit of practice in that position,” Mellema said.
The visiting Wolves (8-3) won the first set handily despite a noteworthy Schuyler Roewert block and a Ellia Klanderud kill during the middle stages.
Elkhorn North continued its momentum into the second, jumping out to a 6-0 advantage. Klanderud's kill cut the advantage to 6-2, but the Wolves forged on and later led 20-7. Blair's Taylor Mostek tallied a kill down the line and Roewert notched an ace during a three-point streak down the stretch, but North still built a 2-0 match advantage.
That lead turned into a 3-0 win as both teams earned cheers with match-point approaching as new substitute players took the floor. Junior Abigail Schlachter and senior Ashlyn Just earned such cheers.
Mellema noted that both Schlachter and sophomore Valeria Hernandez were late additions to the varsity roster before Tuesday's match and played well in their roles.
“I feel like they did well despite everything going against them,” the coach said. “I will probably always say that we could communicate better, but, with everything they were adjusting to, I did feel like they played as well as they could have.”
As a whole, Mellema has been pleased with her team's efforts over the first few weeks of the season. The Bears already have four wins after finishing last season with seven total.
“Aside from this game, I feel like our matches have been so close,” the coach said. “We're especially doing well at tournaments.”
BHS players are displaying team chemistry.
“They're talking really well and they're playing as a team,” Mellema said.
The Bears next play Tuesday when they host Omaha Northwest at 6:30 p.m.