KEARNEY — The morning started well.
The Kearney High volleyball team opened its own invitational beating Grand Island 25-19, 23-25, 25-15 and avenging a four-set loss to Grand Island Northwest with a 25-21, 25-22 victory.
But inconsistency had already affected Kearney’s play and it would prove detrimental in the afternoon.
Pushing foes North Platte and Gretna to the limit in the first set, the Bearcats couldn’t pull out the victory and never recover. North Platte (6-8) won the first match 26-24, 25-21 and Gretna (8-1) won 30-28, 25-13.
“Gretna is one of the best teams in the state,” Kearney coach Jessica Day said. “In Set 1 I was very pleased with what we did, pleased with how we battled. There was a lot of adversity and new people out on the court.
“We were swinging. We were playing hard. That was good to see.”
The new people had to take the court because libero Adi Wood and defensive specialist Amelia Moore bumped heads going for a ball in the North Platte match.
That blew out the back row. Then middle blocker Lily Novacek, Kearney’s leading blocker, suffered a nosebleed before the Gretna match started.
“Those who had the opportunities,,I was proud of how they came in and did the job,” Day said.
But the lineup changes only accentuated what has been Kearney’s biggest problem נinconsistency.
“We didn’t know what we were going to get at different points in time,” Day said. “It’s going to come down to consistency again and we’re going to have to figure that out.
‘We have to learn to play at that high level every single point, every single match. Otherwise, it could be a long year and it will be hard to achieve our goals”
Aspen Rusher finished the day with 32 kills. Sidney Province scored 27 kills and Macy Fuller had 22.
Lucy Bartee set for 91 kills.