Busy slate for BHS volleyball
By Ben Knoll
Signal Sports Writer
The Baldwin High School volleyball team continued its roller coaster season last week, with a meet on Thursday at Tonganoxie and the Baldwin Invitational Tournament at home on Saturday.
At the Thursday meet, the Bulldogs experienced mixed results. In their first match of the evening, BHS faced off against Bonner Springs. The Bulldogs started slow, dropping the first game of the match, 21-25. The team found their rhythm in the second game though, blowing Bonner Springs away 25-6. In the third and deciding game, the two teams exchanged shots before Baldwin finally pulled out the tough win, 27-25.
Bailey Stuart was the leading scorer with 13 points. Kelsey Heckathorne also smashed 11 kills on the way to the win.
In the second match of the night, Baldwin squared off against Atchison. The Bulldogs rolled over Atchison in convincing fashion, winning in two games, 25-11 and 25-16.
Rebecca Verhaeghe led all scorers with nine service points, followed closely by teammate Kara Everett who added eight. Heckathorne added four kills and Stuart added two.
In the final match of the night, Baldwin was pitted against the undefeated Tonganoxie Chieftains. Tonganoxie dominated the Bulldogs in the first game, winning 5-25. In the second game, Baldwin played Tonganoxie much tougher but eventually fell 17-25, ending the action.
Coach Jim Oatman was pleased with his team's overall performance.
"I thought we played solid against Atchison," said Oatman. "Our best match of the night was against Tonganoxie, even though we lost."
Baldwin didn't have much time to regroup before starting action up again, this time at their toughest test yet, the BIT.
The Bulldogs came out sluggish in their first two matches of the morning.
In their first match, the Bulldogs fell to Osawatomie 23-25 and 18-25. Serve receiving errors cost the Bulldogs the match, as they went 17 for 31 overall in that category.
Heckathorne had five kills to lead the team.
In match number two, Baldwin played Wellsville for the second time in five days. The Bulldogs were never in the match, and dropped the two games, 13-25 and 7-25.
BHS finally stepped into the winning column in their third match against Perry-Lecompton. The Bulldogs won both games by identical scores of 25-20.
Heckathorne again led the winning effort with 11 points. Verhaeghe also chipped in with four kills.
Unfortunately, Baldwin dropped its next two matches of the day. The Bulldogs lost to Topeka Hayden in three tightly contested games, 25-18, 23-25 and 22-25.
Baldwin then went on to lose its first match in the consolation bracket against Paola, 7-25 and 19-25.
The Bulldogs never gave up, though, and it showed in their final match of the night. Facing off against Oskaloosa, Baldwin dug in and pulled out the victory, winning in two games, 25-15 and 25-19.
Colby Heckathorne was the leading scorer with seven points. Sister Kelsey Heckathorne also added five kills, while Stuart chipped in with four kills.
Oatman new this would be a tough tournament going in.
"This is our toughest tournament of the year," Oatman said. "We had a slow start in the morning that hurt us. We weren't up for the game. But I'm happy that we could finish the day with a win."
The Bulldogs are now have a 6-9 record for the season.
Next up for Baldwin is a meet in Spring Hill on Tuesday.