North Platte High School volleyball coach Laura Miller probably never found a three-set sweep so frustrating as she did on Thursday night.
Against McCook at the Dawg House, the Lady Dawgs got just enough runs to win 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 in what Miller characterized as an off-night of sorts.
"We were playing catch-up all night," said Miller. "It's a win but it wasn't pretty. We'll take it, though."
McCook (11-15) score the first four points of the match with Danica Liess serving. But North Platte (12-10) came back to go up 8-7 after a McCook hitting error.
The Lady Bulldogs then went on a four-point run shortly thereafter to go up 13-9, which was enough breathing room to hold off the Bison in the first set.
In the second set, NPHS scored the first three points only to allow McCook to take the next three right back. From there, both teams battled to have the momentum down the stretch.
The Lady Bison had leads of 13-11 and 15-13. But on both occasions the Lady Dawgs scored the next two to tie.
With a kill by Kylie Wroot, North Platte went up 19-18 and Alex Neff got the serve. The freshman setter scored the next two, with the second point coming on an ace, to put the Bulldogs in position to win the second. NPHS closed out the set with a kill by Olivia Nicholson and a block by Jessy Hunt on the last two plays.
The third set was more of the same. The Dawgs went up 4-1 after Hunt and Wroot made kills on consecutive plays.
With the two kills early in the third, it appeared that North Platte would start to get going. The Lady Bulldogs had trouble getting into rhythm because its attack was short-circuited by its spotty passing.
"I just don't think the passing was what it should have been," Miller said. "We spent a lot of time practicing our passing but it was never as whippy as it was tonight."
But McCook went on to score the next four and take a 5-4 lead after Kassidy Gillen served for an ace.
Both teams traded points until just past the 15-point mark when NPHS took a 17-14 lead after an ace by Allison Kuenle.
The Bison came within two points on three occasions. But a kill by Jackie Paloucek kill gave the Lady Dawgs the serve for good at 20-17.
Anna Allberry served the rest of the match out scoring the last five in what was North Platte's longest run of the night.
"(McCook) did a nice job," said Miller. "They wouldn't go away. We'd get a lead on them and they kept fighting. They're really coming around. If we play them in the GNAC again, we're going to have to get after it."