WAVERLY – Plattsmouth penned one of the most successful seasons in recent volleyball history this fall with a full library of talented athletes.
The Blue Devils wrote the final words in their 2018 manuscript Tuesday night at Waverly High School.
Platteview ended Plattsmouth’s campaign with a 15-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-15 victory in the Subdistrict B-3 Tournament. Second-seeded Platteview (16-13) edged the third-seeded Blue Devils for the second time this year. The Trojans had won a regular-season match two weeks earlier in five games.
PHS head coach Marla Smith said the Blue Devils began the postseason battle on a positive note. An early ace by Rachel Widick gave Plattsmouth a 6-3 lead, and two kills from Savanna Berger helped the team go up 16-10. Rylee Hellbusch carded an ace on game point to seal the 25-15 victory.
“We started fantastic,” Smith said. “It was just one of those nights where we weren’t able to keep it up.”
The teams were tied as late as 15-15 in game two before Platteview went on a four-point scoring run. The Trojans built a 21-17 lead and ended action on kills from Halle Johnson and Kaleigh Koehler and two aces by Johnson.
The Blue Devils and Trojans remained within three points of each other for most of the third game. Kills from Savanna Berger and Kaitie Serkiz kept Plattsmouth within 20-18, and Serkiz’s kill created a 22-19 margin on the scoreboard. The Trojans went ahead in the match after a Platteview kill, Plattsmouth error and Platteview ace.
Platteview used a 9-2 run midway through game four to build an 18-10 lead. Rachel MacDonald produced a pair of aces during the scoring spree and Blair Beecham added one kill. The Trojans advanced to the title contest when Plattsmouth’s block attempt landed out of bounds on match point.
Berger guided Plattsmouth’s offense with 12 kills on 22 attempts. Julia Prince collected seven kills, six digs and eight serve receptions, and Serkiz ended the evening with five kills, nine digs and four serve receptions.
Alyssa Bock generated 24 digs, 18 serve receptions and two assists, and Alela Heim went 18-of-18 serving with a pair of aces. Heim also made 14 assists and five digs for the Blue Devils. Chloe Sabatka chipped in five kills, seven digs, one ace block and one serve reception.
Widick produced one kill, three blocks and three digs and went 12-of-12 serving with one ace. Hellbusch tallied 13 assists and ten digs and finished 12-of-12 at the line with one ace. Lexi Schroeder posted eight digs and one serve reception, Kennedy Miller made one kill and Sydney Hobscheidt saw court time for the team.
Widick, Prince, Serkiz and Heim all completed their high school volleyball careers. Smith said every member of the senior quartet played important roles for the team during their tenures.
“All four of the seniors have been with me for nine years with this program,” Smith said. “They came to every camp and every clinic when they were younger, and they kept working all of their years in high school. Nine years is a long time, so it really speaks to the amount of dedication they had to this program and their desire to be successful.”
Widick also reached a milestone late in the match with her 200th career block. She led the Blue Devils with 72 total blocks this season. Plattsmouth fans held up signs and cheered for her when the public address announcer honored her after her achievement.
“I started tallying up her stats the other night and saw that she was just three away, and I knew she could get that tonight,” Smith said. “I told her family and friends about it and asked if we could possibly do something for her. She didn’t know anything about it, so it was an awesome surprise for her. She’s a fantastic person, so it was really nice to see her get 200 tonight.”
Plattsmouth finished the season 11-16. The Blue Devils posted the most victories for the program in one season since 2009. That year’s squad went 20-10.
Smith also ended her tenure as Plattsmouth head coach. She began leading the program in 2012 after serving as an assistant coach for multiple seasons. She played volleyball at both Plattsmouth High School and Peru State College before beginning her teaching and coaching career.
“It’s been a great run,” Smith said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of this as a player, as an assistant coach and now as a head coach. I’ve been doing this every fall since 1994, so it’s going to be an odd feeling not doing something next year. The future for this program is really bright though. There are a lot of girls who have a lot of talent and pure determination, so I’m looking forward to seeing them do well.”