Records set by BHS volleyball
It was another record-breaking year for the Baldwin High School volleyball team and this year it meant the first trip to the state tournament for the Bulldogs.
"We broke almost every record possible for the second year in a row, both individual and team records," said coach Jill Brown. "We started talking about what it was going to take to make it to Salina at our volleyball meeting before school ended.
"We talked about the work and dedication and sacrifices everyone would have to make from Aug. 19 to Nov. 2," said Brown.
All that work paid off. The team won 31 matches this year, breaking last year's mark of 24. Other team records broken, with previous marks in parentheses are: kills, 1,036 (753); assists, 869 (560); stuff blocks, 207 (92); total blocks, 549 (231); and most serving aces, 255 (192).
Those records weren't just broken, they were smashed. It helped the Bulldogs win three of four tournaments during the season, including the most important one sub-state, which sent them to Salina. They also won the Wellsville and DeSoto tournaments. They finished third in the Baldwin Invitational Tournament and that finish coupled with the next sub-par performance resulted in tweaks to the team which eventually took it to state.
"We started the season not being completely satisfied with the way we were playing. After placing third in the BIT and going 0-2 in Eudora Oct. 1, we decided to make some changes," she said. "We made a couple of line up changes and more importantly than that, we started to believe in ourselves and our team."
From there, the Bulldogs were perfect, winning 19 straight matches and the three tournaments in that string. Along the way, there were numerous individual records set as well. Emily Brown broke her own school record of 323 kills with 411. Kari Garrison set new assist (464) and serving aces (66) marks. Rachel Miles set new standards in stuff blocks (59) and total blocks (186). In each of those cases, just as the team records, the new marks were way over the previous top performances.
Brown and Miles were named to the Frontier League All-League first team. Garrison and Anna Skaggs, the lone senior, were all-league honorable mention selections. Brown had 354 assists, 53 aces and 60 blocks to go along with her record kills. Miles added 129 kills and 32 aces to her block marks. Garrison had 139 kills and 75 blocks to go along with her assists and aces. Skaggs had 212 kills, 43 blocks, 24 aces and a 94 percent serving mark.
Other individuals and their contributions include: Katie Kurtz, 96 percent serving, 51 kills, 56 blocks; Katie Martin, 94 percent serving, 49 aces; MartiKay Hess, 34 kills, 68 blocks; Cheri Rowland, 25 kills, 46 blocks; Haydon Hubbel, 31 kills, 15 blocks, 10 aces; and Kasey Pittenger, led the team with 98 percent serving.
All that has the Bulldogs already looking forward to next year.
"We played well at state, but were unable to come home with a win," said coach Brown. "We were encouraged by the fact that we were very competitive in all three matches with a change at winning any of them. We feel we will be at an advantage next year, having been there before."