BHS volleyball ends busy week 10-4, third
It was a busy week for the Baldwin High School volleyball team and when the smoke finally cleared Saturday at the Bulldog's own invitational, BHS had a 10-4 overall record and a third-place finish in the tourney.
In normal years, maybe the third-place finish in the Baldwin Invitational Tournament would have been good. Not so this year, according to the players and coaches.
"The BIT is a pretty tough tournament, with five of the top teams in our league participating," said coach Jill Brown. "In past years I would be pleased to place third at our tournament. But, we're not satisfied with that this year.
"I really thought we would be playing for first place. But, losing to Paola in pool play set us up to play Gardner in the first round instead of the finals," said Brown. "We need to do a better job of putting ourselves in a good position."
In pool play, BHS defeated Wellsville 15-7, 15-7 and Perry-Lecompton 15-3, 15-11. But, that's also where the Bulldogs fell to Paola 12-15, 15-1, 12-15.
That put BHS in second place in the pool. In bracket play the Bulldogs lost 15-4, 15-5 to Gardner and beat Osawatomie 15-11, 15-10 to claim third place.
Individually, Emily Brown had 42 kills; Anna Skaggs 25 kills; Kari Garrison 15 kills; Rachel Miles 11 kills and 14 blocks; and Cheri Rowland had 14 blocks. There was also a good dose of help from the bench.
"We had a lot of help from the bench this weekend," she said. "Kasey Pittenger came in and served well 96 percent. Erica Johnson came in and got us a pass when we needed one. Katie Kurtz played defense well."
Prior to the tourney, BHS played Thursday at Tonganoxie and Tuesday at Wellsville. In Tonganoxie, BHS beat Atchison 15-4, 15-6, but fell to the host school 11-15, 12-15.
"In the Atchison and Bonner Spring matches we were able to use a couple of different lineups. Everyone who played came in and did their job well whether it was passing hitting or serving," said Brown. "Tonganoxie knew us too well. Their coach coaches four of our girls for five months during the off season. She knows our hitting tendencies, our passing ability and how we serve. They were able to do the things they needed to do to take us out of our game."
It was a similar scenario at Wellsville. BHS beat Paola 15-9, 6-15, 15-11 and Wellsville 15-13, 13-15, 15-8, but fell to Topeka Hayden 3-15, 14-16.
"This was our toughest quad of the year," she said. "All three teams have real strong volleyball programs. Hayden was second at state last year and returned most of their team.
"But we were happy to come home with two wins. The past several years we have gone 0-3 at this quad, last year only winning one game all night," said Brown.
Individual leaders were Brown with 34 kills; Skaggs with 17 kills; Garrison with 16 kills and 38 assists; and Miles with nine kills and 14 blocks.
"Our setters, Emily and Kari, did a good job of getting the ball to our hitters. They both have the ability to make a bad pass look pretty good," she said. "I'd like to see our passers do a better job of getting the ball to the setters. That's something we'll be spending a lot of time working on this week."
The Bulldogs will have that opportunity with no matches scheduled this week. They won't be in action again until Tuesday against Louisburg and Wellsville at home.
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