Bobcats Stun Rams For Third

Hemingford’s Mikayla Kumpf dives for a ball during the Panhandle Conference Tournament Saturday in Chadron. Photo by Kerri Rempp

The Hemingford Bobcats completed a pair of upsets at the Panhandle Conference Volleyball Tournament Saturday to take third place.

The Bobcats earned a 25-21 opening set victory over the Rams in the consolation bracket, before stumbling and losing the second set 18-25. The deciding set went to the Hemingford Bobcats 25-20, giving them a third place finish and the Rams fourth. Crawford led 6-1 in the first set, but the Bobcats capitalized on several Ram errors to get within striking distance. The teams traded points, with the Rams hanging on for an 11-9 edge before the Bobcats were able to tie it at 13. From there the teams were tied five times and exchanged the lead three times, with the Bobcats hanging on for the win.

While Hemingford was able to tie the score in the second set twice, the Rams held the lead for the entire game and closed it out with a kill by Carly Lemmon and a hitting error by the Bobcats. The final set was a back-and-forth affair as Crawford inched ahead only to relinquish the lead to the Bobcats 5-3. The Rams clawed their way back to tie it at seven with a tip by Lemmon and an ace by Kylah Vogel. Hemingford quickly re-took control, however, and maintained it until the teams tied at 15. Several errors by the Rams let the Bobcats move ahead again on kills by Elizabeth Mayer and Isabell Gomez.

The number five Bobcats opened the tourney with a 25-23, 5-25, 25-21 victory over number four Sioux County, sending them to the semi-finals against number one Edgemont. The Moguls squeaked by the Bobcats 25-23 in the first set between the teams. While Edgemont led early, the Moguls allowed Hemingford to knot up the score four times before set point seven. The Bobcats used the momentum to take a 10-8 lead before Edgemont went back on top. The Moguls clinched their appearance in the title game with a 25-14 second set win over the Bobcats. The loss to Edgemont sent Hemingford to the third-place contest.

Crawford’s Natalie Barry (14) attempts a hit through a Morrill blocker at the Panhandle Conference Tournament Saturday. Photo by Kerri Rempp

Meanwhile, the Crawford Rams edged out Morrill 25-23, 25-22 to advance to the semi-finals. The Lions led the Rams early in the opening set before Crawford took a 10-9 lead. The Rams charged ahead to a 23-18 advantage, but an ace serve and a timely kill by Morrill, followed by a Crawford hitting error tied the contest at 23. Carly Lemmon put the Rams ahead again with a kill, and a violation on Morrill ended the set. The teams traded the lead in the second four times before the Rams settled in for the victory.

Crawford faced the Hay Springs Hawks in the semi-finals. The Hawks earned a 25-20, 25-22 victory to advance to the title game, while the Rams were sent to the third-place contest. The Hawks opened with a 3-0 lead, but kills by Skylar Summers, Carly Lemmon and an ace by Natalie Barry kept the Rams in the game as they inched ahead briefly. The Hawks’ Jazlyn Smith landed two ace serves to put her team back on top, a position they never relinquished.

The Rams grabbed the momentum early in the second for a 3-1 lead, but several hitting errors and kills by Smith and Ashley Tobiasson for the Hawks turned things around. Hay Springs led for the remainder of the set and fended off a late challenge that included a kill by Natalie Barry with back-to-back kills by Breely Smith to close out the contest.

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