Opening night of ups, downs for BHS volleyball squad
Once the initial cobwebs were shaken off Tuesday evening, the Baldwin High School volleyball squad won its first match of the season.
Unfortunately, it took a quick defeat and a close loss in the next set to shake off those opening-night cobwebs. After the initial loss to Bonner Springs, the Bulldogs defeated Basehor-Linwood and lost to Eudora, each match lasting three sets.
“We came out tonight really excited,” senior Ramie Burkhart said. “We were a bit disappointed with the end result.”
Coach Kelly Brown was pleased with the opening-night performance.
“Overall, we had a good night,” Brown said. “We came out with a win. I saw a lot of great things tonight from a lot of different players.”
The Bulldogs’ opening match would be a struggle. They gave Bonner Springs many points that were unearned. Bonner Springs won the opening set 25-16. The second set was tied 19-19 before Bonner Springs scored the final six points to win 25-19.
“In our first match, we came out like a deer in the headlights and we were not ready to play,” Brown said. “Our communication completely broke down. We had a lot of unforced errors in our first match.”
The second match, which was against Basehor-Linwood, started the way the previous one ended. The Bobcats controlled the match, but the Bulldogs hung close. In the end, the Bobcats nabbed Baldwin, 25-22.
With the possibility of losing its first two matches of the season, the Bulldogs picked up the intensity in the second set. It came down to the wire, but Baldwin won 25-23. The Bulldogs continued the momentum and won the third game 25-21 to win its first match of the season.
“We came out strong against Basehor and we saw some great things in that match,” Brown said. “Our passing, serve receive and defense looked well. We showed some toughness and character coming back to beat Basehor.”
Burkhart was pleased with the team’s on-court communication during the second and third sets.
“In our second match, we came out ready to win and we talked a lot more,” Burkhart said. “We lacked the talking in the first game. We kept many balls from hitting the court, so mainly mental errors hurt us tonight.”
The Bulldogs’ momentum carried over into the opening set against their rival, Eudora. Baldwin jumped out to a 10-2 lead and continued to roll over the Cardinals. Baldwin won 25-17.
“Against Eudora, we started out really well,” Burkhart said. “We were pumped up and we did everything right. I think we got too comfortable with that and didn’t finish.”
The Bulldogs struggled for most of the next two sets as fatigue set in and Eudora rolled to victory. Eudora won the two sets, 25-18 and 25-17.
“Going three sets and playing for four and a half hours is a lot of work for the girls,” Brown said. “We’ve got to work a little bit more on conditioning. They’ve also got to be a bit more mentally prepared to keep playing as hard as they can, even when they are tired.”
Baldwin will be busy next week. BHS plays at Spring Hill on Tuesday and at Tonganoxie on Sept. 9. Then it hosts the Baldwin Invitational Tournament on Sept. 11.
“We should be ready to go next week,” Brown said. “The girls will be hungry for it.”