Bulldog volleyball has up, down start
After getting the season off on the right foot last week with a 2-1 showing, the Baldwin High School volleyball team took a step back Tuesday night with three close losses in action at Wellsville.
In the first game, BHS fell to Topeka Hayden, winning the first match 25-15, but dropping the next two 25-10, 25-16. Against host Wellsville, BHS fell 25-23, 25-14. The Bulldogs showed initial spark in the finale, taking the first match 25-21 against Paola, but then suffered 25-13, 25-23 setbacks.
First-year coach Jim Oatman said the team showed good signs, despite the setbacks. The first indication of that was the Hayden game.
"We did an excellent job of containing the ball with 10 key blocks," said Oatman. "After winning the first match in convincing style, we dropped the next two games due to service errors. We sent nine serves out of bounds or into the net, clinching the win for Hayden.
"The floor transition looked great during the opener and then persistent errors hampered our performance in the next two games," he said.
Leading scorer for BHS was Colby Heckathorne with seven points from the service line. Kelsey Heckathorne assisted with six spike kills.
It was more of the same against Wellsville, he said.
"We started off a little sluggish after the match with Hayden before we were able to regain our composure and push Wellsville to the 25-23 finish," said Oatman. "Serve receive errors continued to hamper us in game two. Wellsville went on to sweep both Hayden and Paola."
Bailey Stuart let the Bulldogs against Wellsville with seven points. K. Heckathorne added five kills.
It looked like BHS was going to bounce back in the finale against Paola, but it didn't happen.
"After jumping off to a fast start and handing Paola a 25-21 defeat, we struggled in the second game committing six service errors before literally handing the game to Paola 25-13," he said. "We led almost the entire game in the final before Paola tied the game at 21-all. We exchanged points to 23-all before Paola finally won. Serve receive errors once again ended up being our down fall as we committed 11 errors in the match."
The Heckathorne sisters each had nine points apiece to lead the way. Seniors Kara Everett and Stuart each added three kills.
The Bulldogs had opened the season last week with the 2-1 mark by beating Basehor-Linwood and Bonner Springs, but falling to Eudora. The Heckathornes were instrumental in that action, too.
"I was very pleased with the poise of my two young setters, Colby and Kelsey Heckathorne," Oatman said of the opening action.
BHS will take its 2-4 record to Tonganoxie Thursday for the next round of games. In addition to the host school, the Bulldogs will face Bonner Springs and Atchison. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will play host to the annual Baldwin Invitational Tournament with pool play beginning at 8 a.m.