Front row (L-R): Lauren Labertew, Ella Schmid and Brette Doile
Back row (L-R): Kaylee Zeitlow, Rhian Swanson, Sophia Herrera, Cameron Pelzel and coach Shelley Bohme.
DERBY — McPherson’s seventh-grade volleyball team is the Pioneer League champion.
The Bullpups outlasted Hutchinson 25-22, 11-25, 15-6 in the championship match on Saturday to earn the honor.
MMS had rolled past Derby North 25-20, 25-9 in the semifinals. In bracket play, the Bullpups were 3-0 as they defeated Salina Lakewood (26-24, 25-13), Salina South (17-25, 25-16, 15-6) and Newton (25-20, 25-10).
The Bullpups finished the year 17-4.
“Today was a long day of volleyball for the girls, but they played with so much energy when we needed it” MMS coach Shelly Bohme said. “We had some matches that were closer than they should have been, especially in pool play, as we missed several serves and weren't communicating. We switched up our rotation before the Newton match and went back to what we used for the first half of the season and they adjusted very well to that change.”
The Bullpups went into the finals as an underdog, but finally solved the Hutchinson puzzle.
“The finals match against an undefeated Hutch team was what the girls had been wanting since our two losses to them earlier in the season, both of which went three sets,” Bohme said. “Our best serving of the day came in that match and even when we got down and lost set 2, the girls came right back out and played some of their best volleyball. Defensively, we covered well and were able to dig their hits. It was a great team effort. I'm so incredibly proud of how much these girls improved throughout the season and how much heart they showed. They will be fun to watch in the years to come.”