The Seward volleyball team opened its season at the Plattsmouth Invitational Aug. 31, going 2-1 on the day.

The Bluejays defeated Ralston and Plattsmouth but lost to Platteview, finishing third.

Coach Tom Pallas said the team has a lot of new players this season. He said it doesn’t have a go-to player at this point, so the team will be more balanced.

Unforced errors – missed serves, serve receive errors and attack errors – will be a determining factor to the team’s success, he said.

Against Ralston, the match started out close, but Seward was able to pull away to win 25-13, 25-14.

“It was a good match for our first,” Pallas said. “We could get the jitters out.”

Grace Vyhnalek finished with eight kills, and Abbey Ringler added seven. Addison Smith served four aces, and Ringler served three.

Platteview got the better of Seward in its next match, 25-21, 25-22. Pallas said Platteview has an excellent outside hitter who is very athletic and can hit from any position on the court. She did a good job tooling Seward’s block, or hitting the ball off the Seward blockers’ hands.

Anna Hughes led the team with six kills in the match.

The loss dropped SHS into the consolation final against Plattsmouth. The Jays won the match 16-25, 25-14, 25-21. Pallas said Plattsmouth’s outside hitter hurt the Jays in the first game.

Seward finished the match with 29 unforced errors, nine of which came at the service line.

“Those are momentum killers,” Pallas said.

Sophia Turek led the team with 14 kills in the match. Hughes added nine, and Ringler and Vyhnalek notched six each. Ellie Sagehorn picked up 12 digs, and Smith added 11.

“As the day went on, we did better each match,” Pallas said. “We got more confidence and our energy was better.”

Seward (2-1) was to play in a triangular at Hastings Sept. 3 and host Columbus Lakeview Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m.

“We need to work to cut our unforced errors,” Pallas said. “We need to play smarter and make the other team make errors.”

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