EL DORADO — McPherson High’s volleyball team began the AVCTL Division III portion of the schedule Tuesday with a sweep of Buhler and El Dorado.
MHS defeated the arch-rival Crusaders (25-19, 25-16) and then cruised to a 25-13 rout of El Dorado. The Wildcats, though, put up a much tougher fight in the second set before MHS emerged with a 26-24 victory.
The Bullpups are now 6-2 on the year.
“We set some goals to raise our hitting average, serve receive average, fix some blocking techniques and continue to serve well,” MHS coach Christy Doile said. “We raised our team hitting average. Every hitter improved from the weekend. We still need it to be higher, but it was a positive step forward. Our team serve receive numbers were better and we need to continue to raise those. We were better at blocking and making adjustments, but we still were not always where we needed to be.”
The second match against El Dorado saw the Wildcat student section try to propel their team to victory.
“The biggest thing I take away from the night was handling a pretty fired-up student section and directly behind our servers for set 1,” Doile said. “We jumped out to a pretty big lead and our hitters were really executing. Our passes were a bit better, our sets were a bit better and therefore we could swing more aggressively.”
The Wildcats, though, then fed off their crowd in the second set. MHS was down 20-15 and Doile had to use her second timeout.
“In the timeout we talked about changing our attitude, playing fearless and not looking at the score,” she said.
MHS, behind some strong serving by Elisabeth Evans, got it tied at 23-all and later Mandi Cooks stepped up with a kill and eventually hit a game-winning ace.
“Cooks had some timely kills, but (Rachel) Dossett, (Elle) Barrett and (Sydney) Mossman also contributed to finishing plays,” Doile said. “Our back row had to hustle, dive to keep balls alive and to target. (Jaycee) Burghart did a better job of pushing balls to the pins. Great team effort of mental toughness to come back. Props to El Dorado in set 2, they played hard with great effort.”
The MHS JVs debuted, losing to Buhler (18-25, 25-19, 22-25), but defeating El Dorado (25-15, 25-13).
MHS goes to Wellington on Tuesday, with Mulvane completing the triangular.