Rockets repeat state in face of high expectations

Lynn Wilhelm

As the Syracuse Rocket Volleyball team reloaded after a trip to state last season, expectations and goals were high with many returning starters. The team pushed through the first half of the season and won the Fairbury Tournament. It then prevailed through the Nebraska Capitol Conference regular season and tournament as champions. With one hiccup along the road against state contender Elmwood/Murdock, the Rockets went into districts the #5 seed in wildcard points and swept Mitchell in three sets in the district final to earn another trip to state. A repeat of last year, the Rockets ran into a buzzsaw against Columbus Lakeview which ended up third in the tournament. Lincoln Lutheran won the state tournament with Kearney Catholic finishing as the runner-up. Class C1 is known to be one of the deepest classes in the state.

At a #7 Class C1 final ranking the Syracuse Rocket volleyball team fifth-year head coach Courtney VanGroningen sums it up best, “Despite a season-ending loss at the state tournament, I am very pleased with my team and all they accomplished this season. The Rockets finished with a record of 28-2, placed first in the Capital Conference tournament which hasn’t been done since 2013 and was the District champion. I want to commend the six seniors Kennedy Stanley, Lindsey Moss, Lily Vollertsen, Cassidy Roberts, Klayre Roberts, and Shayla Thompson for providing leadership all season. They did a great job this year as our leaders and provided many different strengths to our team. This team set the bar high and has bright futures ahead of them. I am also thankful for all the support we had this year. Our administration, our students, and our community are what make this place so special.”

Earning post-season awards (note - All-State teams have not been announced yet):

Senior Lindsey Moss: 1st Team All-Conference

Senior Kennedy Stanley: 1st Team All-Conference, Academic All-State and named to the All-KMAland Nebraska Volleyball Team Kennedy broke the school record for assists in a season with 893 and is now 2nd in assists in a game with 58.

Senior Lily Vollertsen: 2nd team All-Conference and Academic All-State

Senior Shayla Thompson: Honorable Mention All-Conference

Delainey Cast: 1st Team All-Conference.

Stat Leaders

Attacking: Moss, 326 kills on .286 hitting; Cast 270 kills on .350 hitting; Vollertsen, 260 kills on .266 hitting. The team hit .271 for the season. The hitting percentage is calculated by taking the kills-errrors and dividing that by the total attempts.

Serving: Stanley, 49 aces serving 93.7%; Vollertsen, 41 aces serving 89%; Cast, 40 aces serving 91.5%; Moss, 38 aces serving 88.8%; sophomore Rylee Seelhoff. 26 aces with a team-high 94.2%. The team served 91.5%.

Blocking: sophomore Kadyn Sisco, 70; Moss, 52; Cast, 35; Vollertsen, 34.

Defensive Digs: Cast, 256; Thompson, 246; Moss, 204; Stanley, 199.

Ball handling: Stanley, 893 assists for the season, 11.2 assists/game.

Serve Receive: Thompson, 389; Moss, 320; Cast, 294.

Another great year to be a Rocket Volleyball Player!

Lindsey Moss
Cassidy Roberts
Kennedy Stanley
Klayre Roberts
Lily Vollertsen
Shayla Thompson