BHS volleyball squad ready to host tournament
Kelly Brown and her Baldwin High School volleyball team want to show their hometown fans how much they’ve improved this season.
They believe that chance will come Saturday.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited for Saturday,” senior Taylor Brown said. “It sucks that we only play at home three times and one is a tourney. It’s nice to play at home and we hope lots of fans come out to watch.”
Although they have four matches under their belts, the Bulldogs have yet to play at home. They only play at home three times this season and the other two chances are near the end of the regular season.
Saturday’s Baldwin Invitational Tournament will be the first — and only until Oct. 15 — chance to catch the BHS varsity squad in action at home.
“They are excited and they’ve talked about decorating the gym some more,” coach Kelly Brown said. “They are ready to play certain schools and kids they know.”
The action begins at 8 a.m. Saturday in the BHS and Baldwin Junior High School gymnasiums. There are two pools, which consist of five teams each, and the Bulldogs play their pool matches at BHS.
The other teams in the Bulldogs’ pool are Gardner-Edgerton, Mill Valley, Osawatomie and Wellsville. The other pool consists of Bonner Springs, Oskaloosa, Paola, Perry-Lecompton and Topeka Hayden.
“They are pretty balanced and it’s nice not to play Hayden in our pool, because they usually go to state every year,” K. Brown said. “I worry about Mill Valley and Gardner. Those two will be the two teams that put us in the top four or bottom four.”
T. Brown is excited about the Bulldogs’ pool. She thinks it presents them with winnable matches.
“We’re hoping to do well in our pool and play in the championship bracket,” she said. “We’ve got a couple of tough teams, but nothing we can’t handle.”
The top two teams from each pool will move on to the championship bracket, while the third and fourth-place teams in each pool continue to the consolation bracket. The bracketed matches begin 30 minutes after pool play is completed, which is usually early afternoon.
In most years, the Bulldogs will play six matches during the day. K. Brown is hoping endurance won’t be an issue, especially if they advance to the championship bracket.
“We’ve always gotten in about six matches at our tournament,” she said. “Endurance is definitely a factor by the end of the day. Hopefully this year, we will end up in the top-four championship bracket and maybe endurance won’t be a factor. Maybe they’ll be excited to play in that bracket.”
She also hopes playing in the BHS gym will help her Bulldogs.
“They are used to practicing in there so they are ready to play there, too,” K. Brown said. “They love having this home tournament. We’re doing so much more stuff as a team, which is huge for team bonding and getting along on the court.”
If Baldwin wants to play well, they will have to do it early. The Bulldogs begin with Gardner-Edgerton at 8 a.m.
“They should be awake and ready to play,” Brown said. “We’ve had a lot of early practices. Hopefully, they can get in early after the football game and get focused on volleyball.”