Christy Doile is hoping her McPherson High volleyball team has finally driven past the rough patch in the road.
While the Bullpups didn’t win their own tournament on Saturday at the Roundhouse, they did reverse a recent trend of Saturday struggles.
After going 3-8 the last two weekends, the Bullpups were 4-2 for a fifth-place finish and they closed the day winning their final three matches.
Class 5A power Bishop Carroll won the title by defeating Garden Plain in straight sets, 25-23, 25-19.
The Bullpups had to open with Carroll and split the first two sets before losing the third 10-25. After an easy win over Salina South (25-18, 25-7), the turning point in the tournament was a straight-sets loss to Nickerson (26-28, 22-25). Doile said that first-set loss was probably the difference in MHS making the Final Four or the consolation bracket.
The Bullpups then rattled off wins over Junction City (25-23, 25-14), Hillsboro (25-21, 25-10) and Hutchinson (25-22, 25-21). They reached the 20-win mark for the season in the final match as they are now 20-14.
“We tried to eliminate our unforced errors,” Doile said. “That was something that killed us on Tuesday (in a pair of losses). We were giving up 10, 15 points and losing by two. Those unforced errors were on us, the other teams did nothing. So we’re trying to play smarter ball. The one set we lost to Nickerson we had only four unforced errors. That’s better than 10 or 15. Nickerson played pretty well. Our unforced errors were lower than they had been.”
Jaycee Burghart compiled a staggering 138 assists to lead the Bullpup attack. Mandi Cooks led in kills with 60, followed by Rachel Dossett (37), Sydney Mossman (32) and Elle Barrett (30). Brooke Schrag led in digs with 57, while Burghart had 46. Dossett and Chayce Pontious had 5 aces apiece.
MHS goes to Buhler on Tuesday.
“All these close matches we’ve lost, I keep telling myself something’s going to happen and all those things are going to be worth it at some point,” Doile said. “We’re going to be on the right end of that. If it’s in the postseason, then we had to lose some during the midseason to win some in postseason. If I have to flip it, I’ll take it.”
• Finals •
Carroll def. Garden Plain, 25-23, 25-19
• 3rd Place •
Nickerson def. Goddard, 25-18, 25-22
• 5th Place •
McPherson def. Hutchinson, 25-20, 25-21
• 7th Place •
Hillsboro def. Junction City, 25-19, 25-22
• POOL A •
Garden Plain, 4-0; Goddard, 3-1; Hutchinson, 2-2; Hillsboro, 1-3; Lyons, 0-4
• POOL B •
Carroll, 4-0; Nickerson, 3-1; McPherson, 2-2; Junction City, 1-3; Salina South, 0-4