Photo by James Parrish
The Lady Irish gather around coach Shelly Byrn at the beginning of the second set against Ogallala.
The North Platte St. Pat's volleyball team had a rough go of it on Tuesday against Grand Island Central Catholic and Ogallala.The Lady Irish dropped the triangular at home to the Crusaders and Indians, who are ranked No. 6 and No. 4 in Class C1, respectively.
"This was a great experience for our girls to play two great teams like this," St. Pat's coach Shelly Byrn said. "They're ranked in Class C1 and we're ranked (ninth) in D1. There's obviously a difference there with height and experience."
In the first match, GI Central Catholic rolled the Irish 25-8, 25-9.
In the first set, the Crusaders (14-9) jumped out to an 18-5 lead after Emma Benton served for 11 straight points.
Central Catholic also took control early in the second set and the Crusaders never looked back in the sweep.
Byrn said that her team was overwhelmed by the Crusaders.
"Against GICC, they came out a little intimidated," she said. "That's understandable. It happens with a young team."
The Lady Irish played better against Ogallala in a 25-9, 25-19 loss.
Just like in the previous two sets with GI Central Catholic, St. Pat's (13-8) fell behind early against Ogallala (22-6) and it couldn't catch back up.
But in the second set, the Irish stayed with the Indians.
Ogallala got out to an 8-2 lead after Kendall Schroer and Sophia Arensdorf made kills on consecutive plays.
But St. Pat's kept battling. The Lady Irish got as close as 16-13 after Brittany Lawrence scored two straight with a kill and a block.
That was the closest they got before the Indians finished off the match.
"We really stepped it up against Ogallala," Byrn said. "The first set was not an indicator as to how hard we really played. But in the second set it came together. The girls started doing everything we work on in practice."
The Irish hope to rebound on Saturday at the South Platte Valley Association tournament, which will also be played at the McGahan Activities Center.
St. Pat's is the No. 1 seed and it receives a bye into the semifinals against the winner of Maxwell and Sutherland.
"I'll keep telling them that if we play like we did in the second set against Ogallala, we'll win some games," Byrn said. "It's a tough week but it's one we're expecting and one we've been looking forward to."