GRAND ISLAND-Norfolk Lutheran High Northeast upset North Platte St. Pat's on Friday in four sets in the Class C2 state volleyball semifinals.The two-time defending champion Eagles (30-5) defeated the Lady Irish 25-16, 17-25, 25-19, 25-16 to move to the state title match for a third straight year.
It was just the second loss of the season for the Irish, who were favored to win it all.
Norfolk Lutheran was seeded fourth in the tournament. They will play Hartington Cedar Catholic at 11 a.m. Saturday for the state title.
St. Pat's (30-2) will play No. 2 seed Hastings St. Cecilia for third-place match at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Norfolk Lutheran took control quickly, going up 10-4 in the first set on a kill by Morgan Uhlir that followed an ace by Arianna Rathke, and the Lady Eagles never looked back in claiming the first set.
The second set played out in similar fashion, but in reverse. St. Pat's built an 11-6 lead after a run in service by Samantha Byrn. The Irish led as much as 16-7 before evening up the match.
The third set was the most even of the day, but Norfolk Lutheran took a 19-14 lead after Jessica Masters made a block that capped a 5-point service run by Mandi Uecker. That was enough of a cushion for the Eagles to be in position to win, 25-19.
In the fourth set, Lutheran gained more momentum by scoring the first five points. The Lady Irish didn't have an answer as the Eagles soared to victory.
Brittany Lawrence had 18 kills to lead St. Pat's in the losing effort. Shelby Allberry followed with nine kills and Byrn had eight.