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Rylee Pieper

Meridian's Rylee Pieper celebrates a point against Johnson-Brock during the district final at Norris High School.

Meridian will be the No. 1 seed in Class D1 this weekend at the NSAA State Volleyball Championships.

The Lady Mustangs earned the top spot despite losing to Johnson-Brock twice during the season -- their only two losses of the season. Johnson-Brock is the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

Meridian (29-2) will play eighth-seeded Elkhorn Valley (17-11) Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln East High School.

With a win, the Mustangs would move on and play at 11 a.m. Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena against the winner of Heartland (20-9) and Blue Hill (26-5).

By earning the top seed, Meridian avoids having to beat both Johnson-Brock and Bruning-Davenport-Shickley during the tournament. BDS (26-5) is the No. 3 seed and will open against sixth-seeded Clarkson/Leigh (25-8) at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Meridian has beaten BDS three times during the season, but proved to be the Mustangs' toughest competition besides Johnson-Brock. It took five sets for Meridian to defeat them in the subdistrict final.

Johnson-Brock (31-1) is the second seed and will open against seventh-seeded Bertrand (20-9).

If the higher seeds win, Johnson-Brock and BDS would clash in the second round.

The Class D1 State Championship match is slated for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Meridian's two losses on the season have come at the hands of Johnson-Brock. The Lady Eagles defeated Meridian in the MUDECAS Championship Match is straight sets 25-18, 25-21. They lost to them in the subdistrict championship last week in three sets 25-16, 25-16, 26-24.

Johnson-Brock's lone loss on the season was a three set loss to Lincoln Christian 25-16, 23-25, 25-22.

If Meridian and Johnson-Brock meet in the state championship on Saturday, it would be a rematch of last year's state championship match. Johnson-Brock claimed the championship in four sets 18-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-21.

It will be Meridian's sixth appearance at state. They've never won a championship, but finished runner-up in 1980 and 2016. They finished third in 2009.


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