Early exit from sub-state volleyball ends Bulldogs’ season
An early exit from sub-state to the eventual state champion ended the Baldwin High School volleyball team's struggling season.
The Bulldogs were defeated in two games in the first round of sub-state, which was hosted by Spring Hill Oct. 21. Baldwin lost 25-8 and 25-6 to Eudora, which went on to win the Class 4A state title last weekend.
"Eudora didn't miss a beat when we played them," coach Kelly Brown said. "We couldn't get anything past them."
Brown said energy wasn't a problem for the Bulldogs during the match.
"They came out with enthusiasm," Brown said. "They were ready to play and they had great attitudes."
Sophomore Olivia Catloth said the team struggled on a couple of things at sub-state.
"We could have been on our feet more, communicated better and covered our defense," Catloth said.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a record of 4-35 during Brown's first year as coach.
She was disappointed to see the season end so soon, because she was finally getting the team to play with more confidence.
"The girls were coming around, so I was sad to end the season," Brown said. "They were becoming more vocal and improving all around.
"Getting them to believe they were good and could play well was the biggest hurdle I faced all year," Brown said. "They never gave up on each other or on me and that says a lot about them."
Senior Kim Gilges also said the season finished too early.
"The season could have ended better," Gilges said. "I wish it wasn't over."
One aspect of the game that Brown often complimented was the Bulldogs' defense.
"Defensively, the girls always did great," Brown said. "As far as digging the ball, the girls were always going after the ball. Sometimes we would have breakdown on service receive, but our defense was solid."
The Bulldogs will graduate five seniors from this squad, but will return several varsity players next year.
"I'm returning a good junior class," Brown said. "I'm also going to be looking at a few sophomores next year for help. They are going to get this program turned around."