AUBURN – Elmwood-Murdock increased its season victory total Monday night with its work in the East Central Nebraska Conference Tournament.
The Knights split a pair of matches on the opening day of the league event. Elmwood-Murdock defeated Yutan in the first round and fell to Auburn in the quarterfinals. Both matches took place in Auburn’s gym.
Elmwood-Murdock 3, Yutan 1
The seventh-seeded Knights stopped the tenth-seeded Chieftains 23-25, 25-19, 25-7, 25-21 in the first contest of the evening. Elmwood-Murdock found multiple open spots on the court against Yutan. E-M collected a .244 team hitting percentage and carded 12 aces in the match.
E-M bounced back from a close loss in game one to sweep Yutan after that. Sydney Anderson ended game two with an ace and Nicole Meyer sealed game three with an ace block. Yutan was unable to keep a rally going on match point.
Meyer and Lauren Justesen each generated big performances for the team. Meyer ended the match with 18 kills on 28 swings for a .464 hitting percentage. She also went 12-of-12 serving with two aces and had two ace blocks.
Justesen helped the squad’s defense with 15 digs, 14 serve receptions and one ace block. She also compiled ten kills, one ace and one assist.
Sydney Kunz picked up five aces and produced five kills, four digs and 24 assists. Chloe Hosier pocketed ten assists and went 12-of-12 serving, and Nicole Wenzel copied the 12-of-12 serving effort with two aces. Wenzel also made three kills and two digs.
Paetyn Florell posted three kills and three digs and Elyse Drake contributed one ace, five digs and 17 serve receptions. Brianna Scattergood had two kills and two digs and Anderson made one ace, three digs and six serve receptions. Faith Offner chipped in four digs and ten serve receptions and Katelyn Vogler had one serve reception.
Auburn 3, Elmwood-Murdock 0
Second-seeded Auburn used a diverse scoring attack to pick up a 25-19, 25-11, 25-12 victory in the quarterfinals. Eight Bulldogs registered kills and five players collected at least one ace. Auburn improved to 15-7.
E-M worked its way within 17-15 in game one after Scattergood knocked home a kill. An ace by Wenzel kept the Knights within 21-19, but Auburn produced points on the next four rallies to win.
Auburn burst out to a 10-2 lead in game two and maintained that gap the rest of the way. The Bulldogs then used a ten-point run to change a 14-9 lead to 24-9 in game three.
Justesen posted eight kills, 12 digs, 17 serve receptions and one assist for the Knights. Meyer collected four kills, one ace block and one dig, and Kunz generated two kills, four digs and nine assists. Kunz also went 12-of-13 serving with two aces and seven service points.
Wenzel finished 6-of-7 serving with two aces and added three digs and one assist. Drake tallied five digs and nine serve receptions, Vogler made five digs and five serve receptions and Hosier had two digs and 11 serve receptions.
Offner contributed two digs and three serve receptions and Anderson delivered three digs, one assist and seven serve receptions. Florell had one dig and Kylee Synovec saw court time.
Elmwood-Murdock (10-11) will play in the ECNC Silver Division at Freeman on Thursday. E-M will face Freeman at 5 p.m. and Johnson County Central will play Mead at 6 p.m. The seventh-place match will begin at 7 p.m. and the fifth-place match will start at approximately 8 p.m.