Bulldog volleyball team preps for post-season with triangular sweeps
The Baldwin Bulldog volleyball team tuned up for sub-state play by going 4-0 in two triangulars in the last week.
Baldwin defeated West Franklin (25-21, 26-24) and Piper (25-11, 25-19) Tuesday at West Franklin and Tonganoxie (25-9, 25-12) and Bishop Ward (25-15, 25-12) last Thursday at Bishop Ward.
Although the Bulldogs won both matches Tuesday in straight sets, coach Jill Brown said the team did not play well.
“We got two wins tonight but didn’t play real clean volleyball,” she said. “We had a lot of hitting errors, which isn’t real typical for us. We had 58 kills and 18 hitting errors and hit .370, but that percentage really should have been a lot higher.”
The team also racked up 11 serving errors while recording eight aces.
“That’s way too many missed serves for only four sets,” Brown said.
Junior Alexia Stein led the Bulldogs with 23 kills and three blocks. In their last regular season action, seniors Morgan Lober had 16 kills and three blocks and Madeline McCrary had 10 digs with a serve-receive rating of 2.8 on a scale of three. Junior Jordan Hoffman had 15 kills, three aces, six digs and a 2.7 serve-receive rating. Junior Corey Valentine was credited with 52 assists.
Baldwin played better last Thursday at Bishop Ward, but Brown said the competition wasn’t top notch.
The team set the tone for the evening in the opening match when it jumped to an 11-0 lead against Bishop Ward behind McCrary’s serve. Hoffman was also big against Ward, recording 12 kills with no errors on 17 attempts.
Stein was error-free in the Tonganoxie match, finishing with nine kills on nine attempts. She had five aces and no serving errors in the match.
On the night, Stein had 17 kills and five aces, and Lober added seven kills. Valentine had an excellent all-around night with 42 assists, two blocks and six digs. Emma Burnett had seven digs, Jenna Irey six and Lainey Rochester five.
The serving problems that have plagued the team much of the year were absent at Bishop Ward, where the Bulldogs had 12 aces and only three service errors.
The serving problems resurfaced Tuesday and are an area BHS will want to straighten out before traveling Saturday to Topeka for 4A sub-state play.
Baldwin is the No. 1 seed in a tournament loaded with good teams. The Bulldogs (32-6) will open at 2 p.m. against No. 4 Atchison (28-10). No. 2 Hayden (30-8) will play No. 3 Wamego (33-7) on the other side of the bracket.