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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Yutan volleyball ends season at state tournament

For many sports teams, one of their main goals is to compete at the state tournament. This year, the Yutan volleyball team was able to accomplish this goal, making them the first Yutan volleyball team to qualify since 2011, with a winning record of 26-4 at the end of the season.

“We finished the season 26-4, which is great. To lose only 4 matches is a huge deal. Obviously qualifying for state is always the goal,” said head coach Jodi Bierman. 

To lead up to important games throughout the season, the players first had to have good bonds made with each other, which was a very positive factor for the team during the whole season.

“We were all really close. We worked together and showed up together every day,” said senior Bella Tederman. “You knew that even when you messed up, the team would pick you back up.”

The Chieftains high-five each other before the second set against Elmwood-Murdock. The volleyball team ended with a record of 26-4. (Courtesy Photo)

To be more competitive, the volleyball team had three team bondings, where they were able to increase their team energy. 

“Team bonding were great memories. We have so many videos and pictures of us just being goofy and that was so good,” said senior Maura Tichota.

After getting through some tough games in the middle of the season, the team went into sub-districts and districts finals with confidence. The first night of sub-districts, the Chieftains beat Brownell-Talbot in three sets. This game set up a subdistrict final against Bergan, whom they had beaten in a close game early in the season. After losing the first set, the Chieftains won the next three sets with a final score of 29-27 in the fourth set. 

“After losing the first set, we went into the second set with more confidence. I ended up closing the second set out with a block after a long rally,” said junior Mckenna Jones. 

Then at district finals, the Chieftains faced Johnson County Central at home. They defeated JCC in the first two sets, lost the third set at 20-25, and then came back to win in the fourth set with a big run. The Chieftains ended the game with a score of 25-16. 

“Winning our district final game against JCC left us feeling accomplished because we were able to come back after losing the second set and punch our ticket to state,” said Jones. 

Coming in state seeded fourth, Yutan played against Elmwood Murdock. After losing the first set 22-25, they came back for the second set and won 26-24. 

At the state tournament, junior Gabi Tederman swings at the ball. This was the first time since 2011 that the Chieftains qualified for state. (Anna Rupp)

“In the second set, there was a big block by Maura Tichota, and it kind of kept us in the game. It was just a big moment for the team that helped us to win the second set,” said junior Amelia Dieckman.

However, there were a few hardships that came along with playing at state, which included adjusting to playing in the Pinnacle Bank Arena for the first time. 

“That gym at state was hard to play in, and we weren’t used to it. Elmwood Murdock was pretty used to playing at state,” said Jones. 

Unfortunately, the team lost the remaining two sets 19-25 and 16-25, but at the end of the day, they focused on the positive moments from the game.

“Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we had so many great plays during the game. I would say the best part was walking onto the court and soaking it all in and really understanding what we had accomplished,”  said junior Gabi Tederman.

With the great team environment, it allowed the Chieftains to end the season with a winning record of 26-4, and even the coaching staff had many memorable moments from the 2023 season. 

“I always love seeing parents, grandparents, family friends and siblings cheer and pump up the girls. So winning those big games and getting to see the girls go into the stands and hug their families, those are always my favorite memories,” said Bierman. “Playing at state will stick with me forever, too.”

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About the Contributors
Loganne Barta
Loganne Barta, Junior writer
Loganne Barta is a junior and in her third year of journalism.  She enjoys writing features and sports stories.  Outside journalism, Loganne is involved in FCA, NHS, FFA, student council and showing livestock through 4-H.
Anna Rupp
Anna Rupp, Sophomore writer
Anna Rupp is a sophomore and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys photography. Outside journalism, Anna is involved in wrestling and band.
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