GYPSUM — Moundridge’s volleyball team found itself rubbing elbows with some of the state’s elite teams in Saturday’s Southeast of Saline Invitational.
In a field of schools that have had historic pasts, the smaller-school Wildcats came up empty on the day, going 0-5 to fall to 5-9 on the year.
The Wildcats’ first two matches were against state-ranked teams, Abilene and Hillsboro. The other losses were to Southeast of Saline, Emporia and Salina South.
Against Abilene, which is ranked in the Top 5 in Class 4A Division I, the Wildcats had numerous chances in the first set, only to lose 30-28. Against Hillsboro, which has been in the state finals each of the last four years and has one of the state’s best players in Alex Ratzlaff, both sets could have gone either way as the Wildcats took the Trojans down to the wire. In the final match against 5A school Salina South, the first two sets were split and South made just enough plays in the deciding set for a 25-23 triumph.
Emporia defeated Beloit for the championship, with Abilene outlasting Concordia for third place. Southeast of Saline sent Hillsboro to sixth place, with Salina South and Moundridge rounding out the order.
The Wildcats play at Wichita Trinity on Tuesday, with Berean the third third team in the triangular.