Eleven is heaven for the McPherson High volleyball team.
Since starting the season 1-2, the Bullpups have now reeled off 11 victories in a row after a thorough domination of Winfield and Circle in the first home triangular of the year on Tuesday.
The Bullpups controlled Winfield (25-13, 25-16) and then took the measure of Circle (25-16, 25-15).
The matches were similar in that both opponents stayed with the Bullpups for about half a set, then MHS put the pedal to the metal and sped away.
“We’ve still got to get better at serve receive,” said MHS coach Christy Doile, whose team is now 12-2 on the season. “Serve receive, passing to targets so our offense can get started.”
While the Bullpups are maintaining the lofty standards they have enjoyed the past several years, there are a lot of new players in featured roles. Mandi Cooks and Rachel Dossett are the two main hitters back from last year, but they’ve now been augmented by Elle Barrett and Sydney Mossman. There was a stretch in the Circle match where Doile rested Cooks and Dossett at the same time, yet a beat was hardly skipped as Barrett and Mossman were ripping the varnish off the floor with their resounding hits.
“We kind of spread it around a little bit, which I think can be a positive,” Doile said.
Jaycee Burghart and Brooke Schrag were coming up with solid plays to keep possessions alive as the Bullpups are perhaps more rounded than last year when the focus was on All-Staters Megan Pedersen and Magan Alexander, both of whom are playing now at the collegiate level.
The MHS JVs also came up with a sweep, knocking off Winfield (25-17, 25-17) and Circle (25-22, 25-20). Circle won the other varsity match, defeating Winfield in straight sets, 25-14, 25-23.
The Bullpups will have to be at the top of their game on Saturday when they compete in the always-strong Newton Invitational.
“Saturday is going to be pretty tough,” Doile said. “I saw that it’s round-robin, it’s never been round-robin before. I do know Newton is ranked in 5A, (Goddard) Eisenhower is ranked in 5A and Andale is ranked in 4A.”
Doile said it’s a seven-team event, unlike the 10-event field of the past.