Improving Baldwin High School volleyball team now 2-0 in league

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September 16, 2015

The Baldwin Bulldog girls volleyball team earned its second road victory of the season Tuesday, defeating Ottawa in five sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 29-31, 9-15.

The win against the Cyclones ended a busy week for the Bulldogs, who lost in three sets last Thursday to Tonganoxie, 22-25, 21-25, 10-25, and competed Saturday in the Baldwin Invitational relocated to Wellsville with work continuing on the BJHS gym floor.

“We started off pretty slow, and didn’t play with a whole lot of intensity to start the match,” BHS coach Jill Brown said of the Ottawa match. “We took the momentum of winning the last (fourth) set 31-29, into the final set, and jumped out to a 10-4 lead behind the serving of Riley O’ Rourke. After a 4-4 tie, she served six-straight points.”

Brown praised the play of senior Kelsey Kehl.

"Kelsey played great at the BIT last weekend and continued that last night. She is attacking the ball well and playing some great defense," she said. "Riley and Kyna (Simth) kept us in a couple of the sets with their serving. We tend to score a lot of points off of both of their serves. We also got a nice spark from Kellee Wiggins offensively. After playing defense for part of the match, we switched her to front row, and she ended the night with a team high hitting efficiency of .270. She had 9 kills with 2 errors.z'

The Wellsville tournament offered lots of stiff competition with such teams as traditional 4A powerhouse and tournament champion Topeka-Hayden in attendance. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that was the team they drew in the first round of pool play. The Wildcats made quick work of the match winning 13-25, 11-25.

The Bulldogs then played host Wellsville in a very competitive pool play match, losing 24-26, 26-24, 12-15. The team completed pool play with a loss to Bonner Springs, 22-25, 25-20.

Baldwin ended the day with a two-set victory against Paola, 25-20, 25-20.

The 1-3 record in the tournament masked some solid play from the Bulldogs, Brown said.

“Aside from the Hayden match, I felt like we competed better than we have so far this season,” she said. “We had a very competitive match with Wellsville.  I think it was probably the best we’ve played this season. We passed well and were able to attack aggressively. We also blocked well, and we were pretty scrappy on defense, which tends to frustrate teams and tends to shut big hitters down.”

Senior Kelsey Kehl recorded five blocks in the Wellsville match, Brown said.

The coach was also pleased with the team’s play against Paola, which defeated tournament runner-up Blue Valley Southwest in pool play.

“We were able to go on a couple of big runs throughout the match,” Brown said. “We hit well in the match and had a team high hitting efficiency of .250.”

Kehl again was had a big match, hitting .500, with 12 kills.

Tuesday Bulldog stats:

Kelsey Kehl 20 Kills, .220 Hitting Efficiency, 36 Digs

Emma Burnett, 10 Kills, 24 Assists, 21 Digs

Riley O’Rourke, 6 Kills, 2 Aces

Kyna Smith, 2.4 Serve Receive Rating, 4 Aces, 6 Kills, 20 Assists

Kayla Kurtz, 8 Kills, 2 Aces

Kellee Wiggins. 9 Kills

Sydney Bergan. 17 Digs

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