KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When the Nebraska Premier volleyball program joined the fray at the Triple Crown NIT in 2018, you could tell it wouldn’t take too long for the club to make an impact on Championship Day.
Nebraska Premier delivered on the promise Monday, with the 12 Gold team taking first place thanks to a 25-13, 25-21 victory over Munciana and the 15 Gold muscling up for a 27-25, 25-20 win over Central Iowa Select.
15 Elite head coach Shannon Smolinksi said her squad thrived in an extremely difficult pool of competition by embracing and excelling in whatever role was required. The team went 8-1 overall, including four three-set victories.
“Their passion, their grit, their desire to not only compete at the highest level but to win, it’s special to watch,” Smolinksi said. “They trusted themselves and trusted their training.”
Nebraska Premier fell behind 6-0 to CIS in the first set, but figured out a path while slowly working on the comeback. In the second set, Nebraska Premier was sturdy and stable right out of the gate.
“They knew how the play was going to look, so that flowed into our offense, and we were able to have our offense go a little bit faster and attack with the speed we typically use,” Smolinksi added. “We were proud of their adjustments, to be able to take risks and go for it.”
The 13 Elite title was claimed by Dynasty VBC, based in Kansas City, KS. They slipped past MadFrog (TX) 25-20, 18-25, 16-14. Dynasty was just 1-3 in its first four matches, then turned around to win four straight.