Sidney’s Katelyn Sylvester and Payton Jung have had plenty of success on the court at Sidney High School and the two are ready to showcase their volleyball skills one last time Saturday night when the West Nebraska All-Star Volleyball Match takes center stage at Western Nebraska Community College.
For the two Red Raiders, playing in the all-star game is pretty special and they are honored to be selected. The all-star volleyball match will tip off at 2 p.m. at Cougar Palace.
“It is such an honor to be picked to play in this game,” Sylvester said. “It is awesome to play with Payton one last time since we have been playing forever.”
Jung said the team is having a good time so far in the few days they have been together.
“It really is an honor like Kat said,” Jung said. “It is a really good time and fun to play with all the girls that I have been playing against for years and years.”
For Jung and Sylvester, it will be the last time they will be playing with each other on the same court. The two said they want to make the most of their last time on the court as teammates.
“I am glad we have another opportunity to play together,” Jung, who finished her high school career with 1,115 kills. “It will be sad having to go off to college and not play together any more, but we can watch each other always.”
The West players are definitely forming a bond just two days of practices in.
“The team is really fun to play with. Everyone is energetic and excited to be here,” Sylvester said. “I am excited for how we play on Saturday. Everyone here is so talented. So, it is a lot better to have them on our side of the net that playing against them.”
Jung said the West team has quickly meshed.
“It is crazy. It only has been a couple days and everyone is best friends already,” she said. “We are having a good time and practices are super energetic like Kat said. It has been a lot of fun so if we keep that up we will have a shot at the game.”
Last year the West came back from a 2-0 deficit to top the East by winning the last three games. Sylvester said for the West to pick up another win, they will need to play well.
“I think if we just all work together and are all energetic and excited, we should come away with a win,” Sylvester said.
Jung echoed the same thing.
“Saturday night we just have to give it our all,” she said. “It is our last high school game I guess, so we just have to give it our all and be supportive of each other and should came away with a win.”
A lot of players will be playing with new teammates, but for Sylvester and Jung it won’t be hard to form that bond and continuity on the court with their teammates. Jung and Sylvester along with three other West players were part of the traveling club team, NEVBC Nebraska. Jung and Sylvester along with Alliance’s Emersen Cyza, and Ogallala’s Mackenzie Anderson and Lily Fair were part of that team.
“Our club team had a real successful season, so it is awesome to get in another game,” Sylvester said.
The West all-stars have plenty of talent, including Cyza, who is headed to the University of Wyoming to play volleyball. They also have Mitchell’s Keyana Wilfred, who will be playing basketball at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Sylvester said it is nice to be on the same side of the net as Cyza instead having to try to block her kills.
“Obviously Emersen is amazing, so it is so much better to play with her,” Sylvester said. “We played club volleyball with her, so we are used to it. It is so much better to have her on our team.”
Once the all-star game is finished, Sylvester and Jung can take off the high school uniforms and put on their college colors. Sylvester will be donning the green and yellow of Black Hills State in playing volleyball while Jung will put on the black and gold of Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
“I am very excited to move up to the college level,” Jung said. “I am excited to play with my team. The girls are super nice and accepting. I think I made a good choice there.”