Yuma volleyball heads to Sidney after challenging opener

The early season is a learning experience for the Yuma High School volleyball team.
Yuma went 1-2 last Saturday at the Kit Carson Fall Fling.
Now the JV and C-team will join the varsity for a trip to Sidney, Nebraska, Saturday. Sidney opens its season today, August 25, before hosting Yuma.

“Saturday will be tough,” first-year head coach Jamie Robinson said. “They have a great tradition there. It’ll be nice to have all levels (C, JV, and V) playing that day.”
Yuma ran into some tough competition last Saturday, losing to Kit Carson and Wiggins before finishing the day with a four-set win over Akron.

It was a challenging way for Robinson to debut at the YHS head coach.
“Having a tournament right off the bat is a little tough,” she said. “Not in game shape and we all still have a ton to learn, myself included. Tournaments don’t give me much time to make changes.”
Yuma opened its season against the host Wildcats, a long-time power currently ranked No. 10 in Class 1A.
Yuma held an early lead in the first set, but Kit Carson eventually pulled away to a 25-19 win. The Wildcats then got rolling, winning the next two sets 25-13 and 25-20 to hand Yuma a season-opening loss.
Caddis Robinson had eight kills for Yuma, while Emma Rayl had four, Lyndsey Mekelburg three, Liddy Day two, Jailyn Mekelburg two, and Lea Richardson and Alina Moran one each. Yuma served just 86.8 percent (53-for-60). Richardson was 10-11 with two aces, Robinson 10-11 with three aces, L. Mekelburg 9-10 with three aces, Rayl 7-8, J. Mekelburg 6-7 with one ace, Day 3-3, and Moran one good serve. J. Mekelburg and Robinson led in blocks. Richardson had 10 setting assists and Rayl and Robinson four each. Richardson led in digs with 10, and L. Mekelburg and Robinson led in serve receive.
Yuma then played fellow Lower Platte Activities Association teams the rest of the day.
First up was its final pool play match against Wiggins, ranked No. 2 in 2A.
It was a rough outing from start to finish as the Tigers handed Yuma a three-set loss, 8-25, 15-25, 19-25.
Yuma was better at the service line, going 42-43 (97.7 percent). Robinson was 10-11 serving with three aces, Richardson 7-7 with one ace, J. Mekelburg 7-7 with one ace, L. Mekelburg 6-6, Cheyanne McCreath 5-5, Rayl 4-4 and Moran 3-3. Robinson had six kills, J. Mekelburg five, and Richardson, L. Mekelburg, and Moran two each. Richardson had eight setting assists, and Rayl five. Robinson and Rayl led in serve receive.
Yuma closed out the day with a four-set win over Akron, 25-19, 18-25, 27-25, 25-19. Yuma took control early in the first set and held off the Rams for the win. The local girls took an early lead in the second set, but Akron battled back and pulled away. Yuma had a 19-15 lead in the third set, only to see the lead evaporate. However, they hung in there and finally pulled out an exciting extra-points win. Yuma then cruised in the fourth set for its first win of the season.
“I think the girls learned a lot about themselves and me as a coach, now that it is ‘real’” Robinson said. “I was impressed with what they did naturally that I haven’t talked much about during practice. I don’t think the scores show how well I felt they really did.”
Yuma won despite serving just 84.6 percent (91-105) with several attempt into the net. Robinson was 21-22 with four aces, J. Mekelburg 13-16, L. Mekelburg 12-15 with two aces, Richardson 14-17 with one ace, Rayl 9-10, Moran 5-7, and Day 3-5.
Robinson had 21 kills, J. Mekelburg 11, Moran five, Rayl five, Richardson three, and Elizabeth Mendoza and Chloe Smith one each. Rayl had 16 setting assists, Richardson 14, Robinson and Moran four each, Mendoza three, and J. Mekelburg two.