UTICA, NE – The third edition of Bruning-Davenport/Shickley and Exeter-Milligan on the volleyball court in 2018 was the most entertaining thus far.
Despite the entertainment and hard fight, the Timberwolves fell short to the Eagles once more.
Senior outside hitter Jadyn Kleinschmidt knocked down 18 kills and three aces to lead No. 1 BDS (26-4) to a 3-1 victory over Exeter-Milligan (22-8) in the Class D2-2 subdistrict final at Centennial High School on Tuesday night.
BDS is now 3-0 this season against their toughest Crossroads Conference foe.
“Any time you can beat Exeter-Milligan, a very high quality team, it feels very good,” BDS head coach Kari Jo Alfs said after. “This is the third time that we’ve seen them this year, and obviously, it’s hard to beat a team three times. We could possibly see them again in Lincoln (at the state tournament Nov. 8-10).”
BDS won a back-and-forth set one, 25-23. Exeter-Milligan was behind 8-6 early in set two, but went on an 8-0 scoring run to ultimately take control and win the second set 25-19.
That was the first time the Timberwolves beat BDS in a single set in 2018.
In the second set, Exeter-Milligan had set point at 24-15, but BDS reeled off four straight points to make the score 24-19. A service error by senior Sera Johnson ended the second set.
Despite losing the second set, Coach Alfs wanted her team to try and steal some momentum headed into the third set.
“We did come back and score some points late in the second set,” Alfs said. “My goal was to gain some momentum, and take that on into the third set. We made some adjustments defensively in the third set, and making those adjustments really helped us.”
The adjustments helped BDS own set three, 25-16. Exeter-Milligan never had a lead in that set.
The fourth set started with a 7-1 scoring run by the Eagles, but ended with a late charge from the Timberwolves.
BDS led set four 21-16, but a 3-0 burst by E-M made it 21-19. The scoring run was stopped by a service error from senior middle blocker Kate Jansky. The Eagles were able to close out the match from there.
Four service errors in set four allowed the Timberwolves to make a push, according to Alfs.
“We missed a lot of serves in that fourth set,” Alfs said. “If we would have taken those missed serves away and capitalized on those points, it would have been a totally different ballgame. We were just happy to come out with a win.”
Jansky, a returning starter from Exeter-Milligan’s 2017 state championship team, had a phenomenal performance Tuesday, tallying a match-high 23 kills along with four blocks and three aces.
Senior middle Katherine White, who also started on the 2017 team, had 20 kills, four blocks and two aces.
While both teams’ stars all shined in this game, BDS’ bench may have been the key to victory.
The Eagles had three players with 10 kills or more. Behind Kleinschmidt’s 18-kill masterpiece, junior middle/setter Regan Alfs tallied 14 kills and a team-high four blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Macy Kamler finished with 10 kills and a pair of blocks.
Eight different Eagles had at least one kill. For Exeter-Milligan, White and Jansky combined for 43 of the team’s 51 kills.
On the final two points of the game, Coach Alfs swapped starters Jordan Bolte and Macy Kamler in for reserves Jennifer Holtzen and Emilie Schardt.
Holtzen, who had two kills off the bench late in Monday’s win over Osceola, scored the game’s final point in set four, sending the BDS bench into a frenzy.
“There at the end, Holtzen and Schardt had a big swing,” Alfs said. “I don’t think Exeter-Milligan was ready for us to go to them. I think that really helped us mix it up.”
District finals take place on Saturday at a time and place to be announced. Alfs says BDS will face Maywood/Hayes Center (16-11) in the first round.
Other area scores:
Class C1-1 @ Norris Middle School:
Syracuse 3 Fairbury 0
- The Jeffs are 19-13. Fourth-year head coach Hannah Rundle has taken Fairbury’s seniors from one win in 2015, to eight in 2016, to 14 in 2017 and now 19 this season.
Class C2-3 @ Adams Central:
Superior 3 Thayer Central 0
Class D1-3 @ Geneva:
Meridian 3 Heartland 0
Class B-4 @ Norris Middle School:
Seward 3 Beatrice 0
Norris 3 Crete 0
- Cardinals end their season at 3-29.
Seward 3 Norris 1 (subdistrict final)
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.