BDS survives five-set thriller against Wynot, gets back in state final for second straight year
LINCOLN - BDS overcame a lot of mistakes in Friday's match - mistakes that nearly cost them against No. 6 Bertrand in Thursday's quarterfinal.
Yet, Wynot's defense was stingy, and the Blue Devils (25-4) had BDS on the ropes after the Eagles dropped set three, 25-14.
Wynot led 2-1, putting BDS on the brink of elimination for a second straight match. So, what did BDS do?
"I'm a pretty calm, cool and collected kind of coach," BDS head coach Kari Jo Alfs said. "I really, truly believe that's the difference between girls (and boys). When you yell at girls, They take that to heart. Boys are so much different. They just go out and hit each other.
"I know these girls, and have known them since they were in 3rd and 4th grade. They have such great fundamentals, they work hard and I just feel like staying calm, cool and composed is one way to help them out on the court."
It helped in a big way again Friday. BDS fended off match point four times in set four to win it 30-28 and went on a 13-0 run to win set five, 15-2, to down No. 2 Wynot in five sets at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The win puts BDS (29-4) back in the Class D2 state volleyball final for a second consecutive year.
On top of staying calm and collected, Alfs stressed to her team that doing the little things well would be key in this state tournament.
"We have to make sure our serves go in," she said. "We have to make sure our attacks go in. We have to be strong in attacking, but we can't be bombing it out of bounds. We talked a lot this week about how it's the little things that paint the big picture. "
Offensively, BDS looked more fundamentally sound Friday than they did Thursday. Junior middle Macy Kamler once again led the way with 21 kills after getting 20 on Bertrand. Kamler also had three blocks.
Senior setter/outside hitter Regan Alfs had her best game of the state tournament with 19 kills. Sophomore middle Mariah Sliva followed her 12-kill performance against Bertrand with 13 more against Wynot.
BDS wasn't completely without errors on offense Friday, but Alfs liked her team's focus and confidence much better against Wynot.
"Just the emotions (Thursday) night," Alfs said. "There were a lot of people in the (Lincoln Northeast) gym, and it was loud. Also, just knowing, 'You're in the state tournament.' What an exciting opportunity.
So, I felt like (Friday), we were a lot more relaxed on the bus, and we got to (the arena). We just had to make sure that if we dropped a set, we come back and work hard, and not give up."
BDS will now face No. 5 seed Humphrey St. Francis (24-4) in the Class D2 championship on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The match will be carried live on KUTT 99.5 FM.
The Flyers knocked out No. 1 Lawrence Nelson (30-5) in five sets on Friday.
If Thursday and Friday are any indication, BDS could be in for another lengthy scrap on Saturday.
If the Eagles do find themselves backed into a corner, Alfs is confident her team can find their way out of it the same way they did in the first two rounds.
"We're just going to have to make sure we take of our business," she said. "Do the little things right, and just stay focused and keep having fun."
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