Gothenburg played host to the Harvest Festival Volleyball Tournament Sept. 17-18, a tournament that brought talent from across the state.

Four teams competing in the weekend’s games boasted top-10 rankings in Class B and Class C-1 in Nebraska and included others who were in the running for state ranking.

Gothenburg finished as the runner-up, falling to Kearney Catholic in the Championship game.

Coach Bryson Mahlberg said that playing high-caliber volleyball is always fun but to play at home is much better.

“It (the Harvest Festival Tournament) is always one of our favorite tournaments of the year and it is so great that it is on our home court,” he said.

The Swedes, although young, came into the tournament feeling confident in their abilities and Mahlberg said that the performance of his club only solidified that confidence.

“I think going into this season this group realized they are capable of hanging with some of the best teams in our class and other classes,” he said. “I think this tournament just validated those feelings.”

On the first day of the tournament, the Swedes beat Chadron in two sets, 25-15, 25-20.

Clara Evert had 13 kills and Kynlee Strauser had 14 digs.

Aubrey O’Hare had 17 assists.

Next up was a hard-fought match against St. Paul, taking the win in three sets 25-11, 24-26, 25-13.

Evert had nine kills and Strauser had six ace serves and 13 digs.

O’Hare had three blocks and 12 assists.

Gothenburg’s final match of the day was against the York Dukes, another game that was won by the Swedes in three sets, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20.

Heading into day two of the tournament, the 3-0 Swedes met the C-1 no. 3 ranked Kearney Catholic Stars.

The Swedes hung in with the Stars, but dropped the match 22-25, 18-25.

Aurora was next up in the tournament for the Swedes.

The Class B No. 8 ranked Huskies gave Gothenburg some trouble but the Swedes took the match in two sets, 25-20, 25-14.

Strauser and Evert each had seven kills and Ashlyn Richeson and Taryn O’Hare each had 11 assists.

The final match in regular play for the Swedes was Minden and the Class C-1 No. 8 Whippets took the match in two sets, 23-22, 22-25.

Contact Rebecca Steward at rebecca@gothenburgleader.com or call 308.537.9498