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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Wildcats take a hard loss

Volleyball team falls just short of the NSAA State tournament
Omaha Sports
Hitting the ball over the net, senior Kaelin Pribyl tries to avoid the block from Bell West. In the District Championship, the Wildcats lost to the T-Birds 3-1. “Our strengths throughout the game were staying in system with out passing, which keeps all hitters available as an option, and staying disciplined with our blocking against their biggest hitter,” Pribyl said. “We knew they were a great team but we didn’t let that stop us from playing to win, rather than playing to not lose.”

Coming off a 3-1 win against Norfolk in the first round of Districts, the varsity volleyball team was ready to take on Bellevue West on Oct. 25. 

Going into the District championship, the team had a 21-13 record and was ranked second in the District. Just behind the number-one Thunderbirds. This is the first time in years, Millard West hasn’t hosted the District championship so playing this big of a game without the comfort of their home gym is something most on the team hadn’t experienced. 

“I thought the game itself was a great matchup,” senior captain Kaelin Pribyl said. “I truly believe it could have gone in either team’s favor with how close the scores were between the sets. We maintained composure throughout the match, even during the tough moments when things were tight and the season was on the line.”

After a long first set, the Wildcats won 25-17. The second set went in Bellevue West’s favor with a score of 17-25 and the sets being 1-1. The third set was a tough fight but the Wildcats came just short of a win with a score of 25-27. During the final set the Wildcats were looking for a comeback but unfortunately lost 21-25, losing their ticket to State after 13 consecutive years. 

“I think we lost our aggression when serving in the Bell West game,” junior Sierra Pokharel said. “There were a lot of long rallies throughout the game and our defense was what won them. Throughout the game, we told each other not to give up. Before the game even started we had a goal to leave it all out there and if we did that then we were successful. Remembering that helped us continue to stay positive even after the loss.” 

Through hard injuries and different lineup switches, the team continued to go through every game with confidence and trust in one another. 

“We could have stayed more consistent with consistent blocking of their active pins,” Pribyl said. “In the first set we were extremely disciplined in shutting down their main scorers, but as the game went on, we were having trouble adjusting to their shot selections. After the game, we were incredibly disappointed, especially with us being so close to State. We tried to leave on a positive note by reflecting on all of the great things that happened during the season, but it didn’t take away the sting of what we lost.”

During huddles, the players focused on their individual jobs and gave it all in their positions. Although the game didn’t go in the teams’ favor, volleyball had a winning season and continued to be at the top of the rankings throughout the season. 

“We did everything we could do to win that game but it just didn’t go our way,” junior Chloe Teter said. “In huddle we focused on resting our minds and we truly tried to play for each other rather than ourselves. We did amazing at the beginning but we just didn’t finish the sets.”

After the game, the team reflected on themselves as a team and gave last shoutouts to each other. Although the season came to an end earlier than expected, the team left Bellevue West with pride knowing how hard they fought. 

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About the Contributor
Delaney Lueck
Delaney Lueck, Features Editor
Delaney is a senior and this is her first year on the CATalyst staff, but third year with journalism. In Yearbook, she has had a past role of Copy-Editor. Outside of journalism, Delaney enjoys taking pictures, spending time with friends, traveling, being with family, and being a part of the track team.

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