BEATRICE — BDS coach Kari Alfs knew that if her Eagles were going to knock off Johnson-Brock in the final of the MUDECAS volleyball tournament, it would have to be in a straight two-set sweep.
It might not have seemed a likely result heading into the match, but after watching the way her team played Thursday, it seemed inevitable.
In a dominant performance, Class D-2 No. 1 BDS (9-1) handed Class D-1 No. 2 Johnson-Brock (12-2) its first loss to a team from Nebraska this season with a 25-21, 25-21 performance that earned the school the 2018 MUDECAS crown.
“We came out ready to play tonight,” Alfs said. “Our serving game was really successful. We had a lot of aces and we were able to get them out of system. They weren’t able to attack after that.”
The first set ended up being the decisive set as both teams had chances to take the early lead. It was BDS that ultimately took the first set, though, after taking advantage of some Johnson-Brock errors and struggles on the serve receive.
BDS’ serving continued to fluster Johnson-Brock throughout the second set and it led to a 19-6 deficit. The match was far from over, however, as Johnson-Brock never gave up in the match. The sizable deficit was nearly erased, but a BDS timeout led to a change in momentum and ended up quelling the late rally.
“This was a rough one; we just were never able to get into system,” Johnson-Brock coach Tera Stutheit said. “Our passing was bad and we couldn’t get our offense going because of that. We got some productivity out of our players, but we just couldn’t get it done tonight.”
Success in the MUDECAS tournament is often the first step to a state tournament berth for several teams, and this year’s competition might not be any different. The field was chock full of ranked teams and the competition was, as it typically is, top-notch.
“All of these teams are high-caliber teams and we’ll see a lot them in Lincoln,” Alfs said. “We’re used to playing tough competition and these are the type of tournaments that prepare you for Lincoln. I told the girls we’re not going to go undefeated, we will drop some sets, but that’s just part of the road to the state tournament.”
BDS is still undefeated against Class D competition this season. The team’s only loss was to Class C-2 No. 2 Superior.