The Wallace volleyball team is headed to the state tournament after upsetting Paxton Thursday in three straight sets.
The first set was the toughest, going to overtime points before the Wildcats prevailed, 27-25. At the end of the set, Wallace successfully stopped Paxton three times from winning.
"Winning the first set was huge," Wallace Head Coach Elizabeth Strand said. "The energy in the gym was really intense and the girls started off well, and then were resilient as the set progressed. That was pretty big for momentum."
Wallace got the next two wins by more comfortable margins, 25-21, 25-20.
Wallace advanced their record to 17-7. Paxton's season ends at 19-9.
Going into the match, Paxton was rated 9th in Class D-2 by the Nebraska School Activities Association and Wallace was 16th, based on game results and the level of competition throughout the season. Paxton defeated Wallace on Oct. 21 in four sets during the conference tournament.
Strand said winning the first set definitely helped set the tone, but throughout the match, Wallace limited the number of Paxton scoring runs.
"We played together as a team and executed our game plan well," she said. "We also had excellent serve receive stats which made the game for us."
Wallace last qualified for state in 2010. Strand said the Wildcats have been playing their best volleyball of the year and have a good chance to do well.
"The key to doing well is to keep playing like we have been, staying relaxed and having a short memory," she said.