Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Potter-Dix beats Crawford, 3-1, to earn championship berth


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The Potter-Dix Lady Coyotes volleyball team on Thursday evening earned a trip to the Nebraska state championships by defeating the Crawford Lady Rams, 3-1 (25-12, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15), in the District 2 finals at Mitchell High School.

It wasn't an easy win, by any means, for the Lady Coyotes; after blasting Crawford by a large margin in the first set, the Lady Rams were able to drop a bomb on Potter-Dix by putting up a win in the second match, taking a 25-19 win.

The Lady Coyotes weren't nearly finished, however, as head coach Sarah Dvorak rallied her squad to take the third and fourth games. The wins came courtesy of a huge offensive output by senior Regyn Hicks, who finished the game with 12 kills on 28 attacks at the net.

After the win, a joyfully tearful Dvorak said she was proud of her team and the way they played the match.

"I'm just so proud of my girls and the way they stepped up to win those games," Dvorak said. "They came together and stepped up at just the right time, and it was a great win given that we came out a little relaxed in the early part of the game."

If the Lady Coyotes squad was relaxed in the early going, it sure wasn't starting in the third set, Dvorak added.

"I told them, you can't worry about what you are going to do at the state tournament, you can't worry about tomorrow, you just have to worry about now and winning this match," Dvorak added. "We talked about it and it all worked out in those final two games."

Whatever Dvorak said after that second set loss seemed to make a difference; the Lady Coyotes managed to win the third, 25-20, after falling behind 6-1 in the early going.

The biggest plays of the game came, once again, from Hicks as she put up two of her three blocks at the net and managed a slicing score off one of those stops.

"Regyn is one of our team captains and she is absolutely one of our best players on any given night," Dvorak said. "Her levelheadedness and determination to win has been a big part of our season. She came through at just the right moments when we needed her last night."

Another big part of the third and fourth set wins for Potter-Dix was Alexus Rozelle, a junior for the Lady Coyotes who put up 13 receptions and 21 digs against the Lady Rams.

"When it comes to being a leader on the court, Alexus is another one of my great players," Dvorak added. "She is a great motivator to all the other girls on the court and she gets the job done when it needs to get done."

By the numbers

The biggest factor in the win for Potter-Dix was the tenacity of Dvorak's players at the net for kills.

The quintet of Hicks, Rozelle, Anna McLaughlin, Audrey Juelfs and Dawson Sharman combined for 38 points off kills against Crawford.

Leading the way in terms of service aces was Juelfs and McLaughlin with two each. Rozelle and Hicks also earned points from the line.

Defensively, right behind Rozelle's game-leading 26 digs, were McLaughlin and Hicks with 16 apiece and Dawson Sharman with 13.

When it came to setting for the Lady Coyotes no one was better than Lanie Thies' 30 assists on 71 attempts. Thies also added seven digs.

Up next... state finals

The Lady Coyotes travel to Lincoln on Thursday, Nov. 12 to compete in the Nebraska State Athletic Association Class B championships.

The first game will be played at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. Potter-Dix's opponent and the time of the first-round match were not available by press deadline.


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