Swather spikers win CKL Preseason Tournament

By Steve Sell
August 28, 2016

PRATT — And the beat goes on for the Hesston High volleyball team.

For the second year in a row, the Swathers went 6-0 to win the Central Kansas League Preseason Tournament on Saturday.

The first match of the day actually was the toughest. Hesston lost its first set to Nickerson in pool play, but then came back to the win the final two. The Swathers did not lose a set the rest of the day.

“With a number of returning players from last season’s team, we had high expectations for our first tournament, but with a number of players playing varsity for the first time or playing different roles this year, we figured it would take a while to adjust,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “Our pool matches had a number of close sets that we were able to finish and quite a few sets where we had to come from behind after a slow start. We weren’t outstanding by any means, but fought through some mistakes to keep our composure and come out on top.”

Also in pool play, the Swathers defeated Halstead (25-18, 25-15) and Pratt (25-23, 30-28).

In bracket play, Hesston swept Hillsboro (25-15, 25-20), which led to a straight-sets win over Lyons in the semis (25-8, 25-22).

In the finals, the Swathers played some of their best volleyball to dominate Kingman (25-14, 25-15).

“We took a huge stride forward in the championship match, getting an early lead in both sets against a very good Kingman team,” Peters said. “We continued to hit aggressively throughout the match, scoring 34 kills out of our total of 50 total points with only seven errors for the match and a .386 hitting efficiency. Our passing and defense were much more consistent and our servers did a great job serving aggressively with only two total errors.”

The Swathers have no rest. They go to Moundridge on Tuesday, with Conway Springs completing what should be a quality triangular.

“This tournament was a great start to the season,” Peters said. “And hopefully this will give us the momentum to continue playing with confidence through some tough matches in the next several weeks.”