It was the final tune-up before sub-state and McPherson High volleyball coach Christy Doile believes her team played at a high enough level on Senior Night Tuesday at the Roundhouse to like its chances on Saturday.
MHS will take a 23-16 record to Hays for a Class 4A Division I sub-state that also includes top-seed Ulysses and Buhler, which is the No. 4 seed. To make the sub-state finals, the Bullpups will have to knock off the home team.
In its first match Tuesday, MHS overcame a first-set 22-25 loss to defeat Clearwater 25-22, 25-14.
In a rematch with Rose Hill, the Bullpups gave a much better account of themselves, but the Rockets still came away with 25-17, 25-19 victories, a far cry from the 14 total points MHS scored against Rose Hill in the first meeting. The Rockets are ranked No. 2 in 4A Division I and a lock to make state as their weekend tourney includes three teams with losing records.
“We recovered (from the first-set loss) to hold our composure and win set 2 and set 3,” Doile said of the Clearwater match. (Against Rose Hill) I thought we have to finish better.”
MHS led Clearwater 4-1 early in set 1, but once the Indians took the lead at 7-6, they never gave it up. The Bullpups time and again would draw within a point, but never got it tied.
But MHS ruled the final two sets, including a dominating third set.
Against Rose Hill, the burning image of the ego-sapping 25-2 second-set loss to the Rockets last month burned in the Bullpups’ minds. They came out swinging and it was 15-all at the 30-point mark. But Rose Hill kicked it into a higher gear as sophomore Grace Van Driel, who already has committed to KU despite her young age, was dominating. The Rockets used a 10-2 run to close out the match for the 25-17 victory.
It was much the same in set 2. MHS trailed only 18-17, when the Rockets unfurled a 7-2 rip to finish the Bullpups off.
Mandi Cooks and Rachel Dossett were immense. Cooks had 20 kills against Clearwater and finished with 26 on the night. Dossett had 7 kills in both matches.
Brooke Schrag recorded 16 digs in the two matches. Jaycee Burghart totaled 49 assists, 30 of those against Clearwater.
MHS’s JVs finished off a 28-7 season with a split, defeating Clearwater (25-8, 25-19) and losing to Rose Hill (23-25, 25-19, 19-25).