BHS volleyball team battles sickness before tournament
Baldwin High School’s volleyball squad began and ended the Wellsville Tournament with victorious games Saturday.
Unfortunately, the middle was filled with many losses as the Bulldogs tried to recover from a week of illness and change. The Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 1-3 record, as they didn’t advance past pool play.
“We definitely weren’t prepared for Saturday,” coach Kelly Brown said. “We had five girls gone for three days and two girls gone four days. That hurt on being able to use our bench to sub kids in. We had to do some lineup changes. It threw us off not having the full week of practice last week.”
When the BHS players, who were ill, returned to practice late in the week, the distractions weren’t over yet. Friday afternoon was the BHS homecoming parade and cookout, followed by the football game and dance later that night.
“There were distractions all week long,” Brown said. “On homecoming, it was very cold out Friday night. Then there was the dance. Just too much going on last week for us to stay focused and prepare.”
The Bulldogs’ lone victory of the tournament came in their last match. They defeated Waverly, who went 0-4, in three games.
Baldwin won a nailbiter in the first game, 25-23. In the second game, Waverly controlled the contest, as it won 25-15 to even the score. Baldwin came back with a vengeance in the final game, winning 25-9 to earn its first victory of the day.
“I think we took Waverly very lightly,” Brown said. “We still were not playing hard as a team. They were not focused on playing every single point, even against a team that is not physically matched up against us.
“However, we came alive in the last two games against Waverly,” she said. “We should be doing that against other teams when we are physically overpowering.”
Baldwin had two more matches require a third and decisive game. The Bulldogs’ first match of the day started with success as they beat Osage City 25-23. Then Osage City won the next two games, 25-15 and 25-16.
“We actually won our first game of the day,” Brown said. “I think our size really does intimidate teams when we step on the court. Unfortunately, you can’t just be 6 feet tall and win volleyball games. It takes so much more.”
The other three-game match was against rival Eudora, a team that Baldwin defeated earlier in the season in two games. Eudora got revenge Saturday, winning 25-16, 24-26, 25-13.
Baldwin’s other pool play match came against the eventual champion Anderson County. BHS was defeated in straight games, 25-19 and 25-17.
“Three of our matches Saturday went to three games apiece,” Brown said. “I think that definitely took a toll on our fatigue. It also hurt that we lost our first two matches, after winning the first game of the first match. It really deflated us losing the first two matches.”
The Bulldogs will be busy for the next three days. Tonight they travel to Bishop Miege, the No. 1 team in Class 5A, to play Topeka-Seaman and Bishop Miege. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will play in the De Soto Spikefest Tournament.
“They will move the ball very quickly and they will have us on our toes,” Brown said of tonight’s opponents. “That will be a good thing going into Saturday. Playing tougher opponents, I think the girls step up and play better ball. Win or lose, I’m looking forward to us playing against those teams.”