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Back from Team USA, Bekka Allick Leads Waverly to Senior Day Win over Wahoo

October 07, 2021

Last week, 2022 Nebraska commit Bekka Allick was in Durango, Mexico, leading the United States U18 volleyball team to the bronze medal in the World Championships.

On Tuesday, she was back with her high school teammates at Waverly, guiding the Vikings to a 3-1 win over Wahoo on Waverly’s senior night. After spending a few weeks away form her teammates — including her twin sister Hannah — Bekka Allick said she was happy to be back.

“It’s Wahoo, so it’s always been a battle,” Allick told Hail Varsity. “So it felt good to take that one, especially with my sister and us being seniors. And honestly, I still haven’t let it sink in that I’m a senior. For sure I do get emotional when I think about it.”

The Vikings took down the Warriors 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16 to improve to 16-8 on the season.

“Bekka has only come back and practiced with us one day, and really, like one hour yesterday is all that she practiced,” Waverly coach Terri Nuejahr said. “I knew that we were going to be super rusty and we were going to make a lot of mistakes, just communication mistakes and setting, because everything is different now … You can’t take it away from it because they are an exceptional team, and I knew that we weren’t going to walk all over them and I expected it to go four or five.”

The match was tied late in each of the first three sets with the Vikings pulling out the first two and the Warriors answering in game three to extend the match.

At the end of the first, Hannah Allick gave the Vikings set point with a kill then found sophomore Eden Moore to end it. Moore stepped up late in the second set as well with back-to-back kills (the second one on an overpass forced by Hannah Allick’s serve) to break a 22-all tie, then the teams traded errors to end it.

Waverly looked to be well on its way to a sweep, racing out to a 9-3 lead in game three, but Wahoo rallied with three different 3-0 runs to take the lead. Emilia Rourke served a 6-0 run to give the Vikings a 17-12 lead, but Wahoo battled back again. Tied at 23-23 late, Josie Sutton gave Wahoo set point with a kill and then the Warriors blocked a Viking attack.

Waverly pulled ahead 16-12 midway through the fourth set, but Wahoo rallied to pull ahead 18-17. Jaelyn Dicke tied it up again with a kill and then Hannah Allick served four straight points to give the Vikings a 22-18 lead.

“That was huge,” Neujahr said. “We had been struggling at the line all night long. We missed so many, and when we missed, we were missing our spots and who we’re supposed to be serving to is what was happening. But Hannah going on that really great run when she really hit her spot and made them move and talk about when they were going to do and who was going to take a pass for Wahoo, that was enormous for us because we really got them out of system and doubting what they were supposed to be doing.”

An errant Waverly attack ended the run, but Waverly scored three straight there to seal the match.

Wahoo senior and Montana State commit Mya Larson posted a match-high 26 kills on .279 hitting, 19 digs and three aces, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the more balanced Vikings.

“They are an exceptional team and they do a lot of really great things,” Neujahr said. “Mya Larson, I’m kind of glad she’s graduating so we don’t have to play her anymore because she’s got every shot in the book.”

Neujahr said she was happy to have Bekka Allick back in the lineup. She led the Vikings with 18 kills on .268 hitting, 16 digs and two aces while playing outside hitter.

“When you talk about Bekka, that she is one of the best players in this state, it’s true,” Neujahr said. “She’s also one of the best players in the nation and she just brings a lot of extra to the match. We do have her playing out of her normal position. She’s usually a middle, and when you change a position, just like in football when you change from our quarterback to somebody on the line, everything is different. She’s just trying to get herself back in sync, but just herself, she’s a game-changer. She’s a program-changer.”

Hannah Allick did a bit of everything with 45 assists, 20 digs, five kills, two aces and a block. Dicke stepped up at the pin with 14 kills on .312 hitting and Moore chipped in eight kills on 12 errorless swings.

Waverly was without Bekka Allick for 10 matches, going 6-4 during that stretch. Six of those matches were against Class A teams, and Neujahr said it provided the rest of the Vikings a chance to learn and grow.

“I think the whole team grew in confidence when she was gone,” Neujahr said. “Everybody had to step up big in lots of different ways. We won some matches and there were a couple matches we lost that we felt that we should have won and just couldn’t finish. But we gave a lot of kids a lot of different experiences when she was gone and I’m excited how, moving forward, we’re going to really grow as a team and be better because she was gone.”

Allick said the trip to Mexico was her first time leaving the country. The u18 team — consisting of four players from the 2022 class and eight from 2023 — competed Sept. 21-29. Allick started most of the matches and also served as the team’s captain.

“I remember I got the call from Jamie [Morrison],’ Allick said. “First he wanted to know if I want to accept the role and it was seconds, I’m like, ‘Of course.’ When he asked me I immediately just got emotional just because I take a lot of pride wearing the USA jersey. So the fact that all those amazing girls — they’re not just amazing athletes but just really great people — and so the fact that they wanted to put me in that position for them, I don’t know, I just I never would have thought. I was prepared just to play my role. I’m very grateful.”

USA went 4-0 in pool play, though that included a forfeit win over Nigeria. They also swept Thailand and Puerto Rico and beat Romania in four. After a rest day, the Americans took down Argentina in five sets in the first round of bracket play. USA followed that up with another five-set win over Turkey to advance to the semifinals.

USA’s quest for a gold medal ended with a three-set loss to Italy, but the Americans bounced back to beat Serbia in four in the bronze medal match.

“I’ve never been with such a group of girls that were so passionate about just trying to get it right every time, but also they knew like the longevity part,” Allick said. “They knew that it wasn’t going to come right away, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to get it right away. And I think that’s just so refreshing to be around, 24-7, just constant competing but there’s so much love. In between us banging balls at each other we were all cracking jokes, and so it’s just a really great environment.

“I definitely think throughout the tournament, you could see, not even through like game-by-game but like sets and plays by plays we were learning and making adjustments, and we were sticking to it. So I thought that was really cool. I thought we grew on so many different levels.”

Allick said she also enjoyed getting to know some future Nebraska teammates better as well as 2023 commits Harper Murray, Caroline Jurevicius and Bergen Reilly were also on the team.

Back in Nebraska, Tuesday was a big day for Allick for another reason as well. Before the Wahoo match, Waverly presented Allick with her Under Armour All-American jersey as she has been selected to compete in this year’s match.

“I just remember setting that goal my sophomore year,” Allick said. “I just remember seeing all these girls be listed, a lot of girls that I looked up to in playing this game. That’s the battle of the best and it would be such an amazing experience. I think it’s another reminder that all my hard work is finally paying off. And so the fact that I’m in the game and I have the jersey, I don’t know, it’s crazy kind of seeing my old dreams come true.”

For now, Allick is focused on locking back in with her Waverly teammates and helping the vikings close out the season strong.

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