The North Platte St. Pat's volleyball team turned it up in the third and fourth sets on Tuesday to beat Gothenburg 26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 25-16 at the McGahan Activities Center.
"It was a really good win," said St. Pat's coach Shelly Byrn. "We knew Gothenburg was going to be tough. They're a good team. They've got several good hitters. They play good defense and they have some aggressive servers."
St. Pat's (6-0) came out and took control right away. The Lady Irish took a 10-5 lead in the first set after Kari Slattery served for an ace on her fourth straight point in service.
Gothenburg (5-2) called timeout but the Slattery got another point out of her run when Brook Boucher made a block on the right side to make it a six-point lead.
The Irish led as much as 16-7 after Shelby Allberry made kills on consecutive plays. But the Swedes chipped away and they tied it up at 24 all after Aryn Meisinger served for two straight aces.
St. Pat's, who had setpoint at 24-20 before the run by Meisinger, got another setpoint on the following play when Gothenburg mishandled a freeball over the net by the Irish.
Brittany Lawrence then won the set with a kill from the middle that landed in the back right corner.
Both teams had leads in the second set. St. Pat's led 12-10 before Gothenburg rallied for a 17-14 lead.
But with the score tied at 20, Taylor Mroczek made a kill to give the Swedes the lead and the serve. Tiani Reeves then served for an ace that went off Slattery in the back row.
Allberry made a kill to get the serve back for the Lady Irish but Mroczek responded with a kill to give the serve back to Meisinger. Meisinger evened it up for Gothenburg with her jump-serve.
On both plays the Irish could barely get two hands on Meisinger's serve let alone pass out of it and the match went to the crucial third set.
"Aryn Meisinger has great top-spin on her jump-serve," Byrn said. "We struggled in serve-receive and I am also disappointed in how we served ourselves tonight."
In the third set, St. Pat's got a little momentum after Samantha Byrn made a kill to tie at eight points apiece. Allberry then found her serve and ran off four straight for a 12-8 lead.
The Swedes responded with a run by Mroczek, who also scored four straight and gave Gothenburg a 13-12 lead with an ace.
But Lawrence made back-to-back kills on the next two plays to give the Lady Irish the lead. Then the lead expanded to 18-14 after a block by the 6-foot-3 junior Lawrence.
From there, the Irish started to get a feel for Gothenburg's servers and they didn't allow the Swedes to get back into it again.
In the fourth set, St. Pat's got out to a 10-5 lead after Jenna Torres served for three straight points and from there, the lead kept growing before the Lady Irish ended it for the most emphatic victory of the match.
"In the third and fourth set, we got better with our serve-receive," said Byrn. "We were 50-percent serve-receive in the first two sets and then it got better. But we need to do it from start to finish."