BDS holds off Ewing in fifth set for first ever state title

BDS holds off Ewing in fifth set for first ever state title
The BDS volleyball team hoists the 2018 state championship trophy at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday after topping No. 1 Ewing in five sets.

LINCOLN, NE – Bruning-Davenport/Shickley’s group of four seniors went out on the highest note possible on Saturday.

Jaydn Kleinschmidt, Sera Johnson, Caitlin Mosier, and Emilie Schardt all started playing volleyball for BDS in 2015 – the same fall that Kari Jo Alfs became the head coach.

Alfs and these four seniors achieved career win No. 100 on Saturday morning, as the No. 2 Eagles (30-4) topped No. 1 Ewing, 3-2 (21-25, 26-24, 25-12, 18-25, 18-16) in the Class D2 state volleyball championship.

The championship was the school’s first since BDS became a cooperative in 2011. It was also the first match in the Eagles’ 2018 season to go to five sets.

“We knew this was going to be a tough battle,” Alfs said. “We knew we were going to see (Ewing) in Lincoln. But, we knew we had to take everything one game at a time. We took it one game at a time, we worked really hard throughout the summer,  we worked really hard throughout the fall.

“We made some adjustments defensively, and after those adjustments and putting smiles on our faces and having fun, we came out, settled down and played BDS volleyball.”

Kleinschmidt had the most explosive performance of the four seniors Saturday. In her final career match, the all-state outside hitter had 18 kills and a match-high 21 digs.

Kleinschmidt finished the state tournament with 43 kills, putting her final season total at 359.

Sophomore middle Macy Kamler had perhaps her best performance of the season on Saturday with a match-high tying 21 kills, along with 15 digs and two blocks.

The Eagles won their final 18 matches of the season, and Kamler was a critical part of that success.

BDS lost two matches in a triangular on Sept. 27, and another on Sept. 29 – all with Kamler out of the lineup. She had missed two weeks after being life flighted with a severe infection, but she returned in an Oct. 9 triangular against Dorchester and McCool Junction.

The Eagles never lost another match with Kamler back in the rotation.

Junior right side hitter/setter Regan Alfs was also key on Saturday with 11 kills, 19 assists, three aces, eight digs and two blocks.

Ewing, 2017’s state runner-up, was led in scoring by junior middle Tiana Thramer, who finished with 21 kills, four digs, three blocks and two ace serves.

Junior outside hitter Ashley Koening was especially potent on the Tigers’ front row with 20 kills on a match-best .341 attack percentage, 10 digs and a block. Junior middle Sidney Stallbaum had 12 kills, 12 digs and a match-high five blocks.

Both teams finished with seven total blocks.

Even after Ewing’s convincing 25-18 victory in set four, BDS jumped out to a 14-11 lead in set five, and had set point four different times before a sideout by Thramer ended the match.

“We’re not a team that really gives up,” Coach Alfs said. “We’ve been known to come back from behind before.”

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