The two-time defending state volleyball champion Diller-Odell Griffins got swept at home by Falls City Sacred Heart a few weeks ago, but they weren’t going to let it happen again at MUDECAS.
The Griffins, who are ranked No. 3 in Class D2, came out firing on all cylinders and swept Sacred Heart 25-17, 25-16 in the MUDECAS A Division semifinals Tuesday at Southeast Community College in Beatrice.
It was the first loss of the year for Sacred Heart, who is ranked No. 1 in Class D2.
Diller-Odell will now play in the championship match at 8 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of Monday’s late match between sixth-seeded Exeter-Milligan and second-seeded Bruning-Davenport-Shickley.
The Lady Griffins came out swinging in the first set, jumping out to an 8-4 lead and forcing an early Irish timeout. Karli Heidemann had four kills during that opening run while Myleigh Weers had a block.
Sacred Heart scored out of the timeout, but two kills by Madelyn Meyerle and a double block by Lilly Swanson and Keira Hennerberg made kit 11-5, forcing Sacred Hear to use their second timeout.
The Irish crawled back to within four at 13-9, but back to back kills by Swanson and Heidemann made it 15-9.
Sacred Heart then got back to within three at 16-13, but Diller-Odell would then score four of the next five points behind two kills and an ace serve by Heidemann and a block by Hennerberg, making the score 20-14.
The Irish got back within four at 20-16, but never closer as Diller-Odell went on to win the first set 25-17. Heidemann had nine kills in the set.
The second set started sloppy with Sacred Heart vaulting out to a 6-3 lead. Sacred Heart still led 8-6, but a 3-0 run highlighted by two Swanson kills gave the Griffins the lead 9-8.
The two teams would continue to trade leads, but with the score tied 14-14, the Griffins would score four of the next five points to make it 18-15 and force an Irish timeout.
Out of that timeout, Diller-Odell would score four straight to make it 22-15, forcing the Irish in another timeout. Out of that timeout, Swanson and Heidemann would get back to back kills to make it 24-15. Meyerle would eventually put the set away with a kill to make the final score 25-16.
Other matches in the A Division on Tuesday included fifth-seeded Johnson-Brock defeating eighth-seeded Sterling in two sets 25-10, 25-23 in a consolation match. In the other consolation match, third-seeded Palmyra defeated seventh-seeded Meridian in three sets 24-26, 25-14, 25-20.
Johnson-Brock and Palmyra will play each other in a consolation final on Thursday at 2 p.m. at SCC.
In the B Division being played at Beatrice High School, top-seeded Freeman defeated fourth-seeded Southern 23-25, 25-17, 25-22 in their semifinal match. They will play in the B Division championship at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of Tuesday's late match between third-seeded Johnson County Central and second-seeded HTRS
Southern will play in a third place match at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday against the loser of JCC and HTRS.
In the consolation games of the B division, fifth-seeded Lewiston defeated eighth-seeded Parkview Christian 25-13, 25-12 and seventh-seeded Pawnee City defeated sixth-seeded Tri County 25-19, 25-20.
Lewiston will play Pawnee City in a consolation final on Thursday at 1 p.m. at SCC.