Another 30-win season, another league championship.
All that’s missing on the McPherson High volleyball team’s resume is a trip to state.
For Bullpup coach Christy Doile, a season filled with numerous highs ended on a low note on Saturday, but she nevertheless was proud of her team.
The Bullpups, after winning the first set at Newton against the host Railers in the finals of the Class 5A sub-state tournament, lost the final two and it’s Newton that’s moving on. It was the Railers’ third straight win over the Bullpups this year, all of them hammer-and-tong matches that a play here and there decided the outcome.
“I loved how hard and fearless we played,” said Doile, whose team finished 30-11 and ran the table in AVCTL Division III with a 10-0 record. “We hustled, played hard and put up a good fight. As a coach that is what we want to see from your team. We made Newton earn their trip to state. Our entire team really stepped up and contributed.”
The end to the season also meant the end of the line for four Bullpup seniors — Jaycee Bueghart, Michaela Bowers, Meghan Smith and Kallie Jost.
“It is always hard to say good-bye to the seniors,” Doile said. “These seniors are great leaders. Burghart runs our floor, Mickey runs our defense, Meghan is our steady contributor, Kallie is our athletic, utility player. These girls were great leaders to a team that was very diverse in age and set a great example for the younger players. I told them I feel for them, because I feel like they got a bit cheated two years in a row. They had to recover and replace Mandi Cooks their junior season, then senior season Andrea Sweat. They never once used it as an excuse for a poor practice or after a tough loss. For our program to go 35-6 without Cooks and 30-11 without Sweat, just speaks volume for our program.”
There’s plenty of talent coming back. Cassie Cooks and Rhian Swanson will be two of the top hitters in the state next year and they’ll welcome back the return of Sweat as she missed the season with a broken foot. Katie Berg is a blocking force at the net, while Brette Doile is likely to take over Burghart’s role as the setter. Taylor Casebeer was the top MHS server and can play numerous spots on the floor.
MHS had strong JV and freshman teams that will make the next progression to varsity.
All signs point toward the Bullpup program to continue to play at a high level, with making state again the ultimate goal.