BHS volleyball wins first league title in years
The Baldwin High School volleyball team had one final tune up Oct. 14 to get ready for sub-state. Yet the team looked at the quad at Anderson County as anything but that. BHS had the chance to win its first Frontier League title in recent memory.
Although the road may have been a little rocky, BHS won all three matches and finished a perfect 9-0 in league play, capturing the league crown.
"We knew going into this quad it was going to be tough," coach Jill Brown said. "And as the scores indicate, it definitely was."
BHS, which throughout the season rolled over opponents, faced off against its toughest competition yet. Anderson County entered 5-1 while Eudora, Paola and Baldwin all had 6-0 league marks. But just like BHS has done all season, the Bulldogs found a way to win.
The squad opened against host Anderson County and the opposing Bulldogs put up quite a fight. BHS took game one 25-23, then ACHS responded to win the second, 18-25, but BHS won the rubber game 16-14 and captured the match.
"We played aggressively against Anderson County," senior Haydon Hubbel said. "They were tough, but we pulled it off."
The road didn't get any easier for BHS, which next faced off against Eudora. The Cardinals had given the Bulldogs one of their two losses earlier in the season during a non-league game. The results were different this time as BHS won in two games, 26-24 and 25-21.
"We were determined not to lose to them after already beating them in the Wellsville tournament," senior Rachel Miles said.
With the league title in their grasp, all the Bulldogs had to do was close it out against Paola. That proved to be quite a challenging task. The Bulldogs delivered a 25-16 victory in the first game, but the Panthers wouldn't go away. PHS then took the next game 24-26 and BHS had to fight hard to secure the third and decisive game. BHS won by a slim margin of 17-15.
"I think we came out on top tonight because we stayed aggressive throughout the night," Brown said. "Sometimes in tight games teams tend to play careful, playing not to lose, not playing to win. We seemed to get more aggressive as the games got tighter."
As always, BHS was led by senior standout Emily Brown. Brown, who has orally committed to Kansas University, led the team with 49 kills and a .560 hitting efficiency. Also playing big was senior Kari Garrison, whose 50 assists were tops for the Bulldogs to go along with her 24 kills.
"Going into sub-state, I think we are a lot better at this point then we were last year," Hubbel said. "And last year we went to state."
BHS will look to make a return trip to Salina for the state tournament. In order to do so the Bulldogs will have to win their sub-state tournament which is Saturday at Spring Hill.