HAYS — After enduring an uncharacteristic up-and-down regular season, the McPherson High volleyball team eventually ended up where it normally does — at state.
The Bullpups, who have ridden the roller-coaster but are now back on the “up” cycle, qualified for the Elite Eight with two lopsided victories on Saturday in the Class 4A Sub-State Tournament.
MHS routed Hays (25-9, 25-16) and then handled top-seed Ulysses (25-19, 25-13) to punch its ticket back to Salina, where it took second in the state last year.
The Bullpups will be in Friday afternoon’s session at the Bicentennial Center. They got a good draw in that they’re away from defending champion Bishop Miege.
MHS (25-16 with nine wins the last 12 matches) plays old nemesis Rose Hill (34-6) at 3:30 p.m. The Rockets defeated MHS this past Tuesday in a couple of closes matches and are 2-0 against the Bullpups this season.
MHS then plays Independence (31-8) at 6:30 p.m. and closes out at 7:30 against Andover Central (26-15). The top two teams advance to the semifinals on Saturday.
Teams on the other side of the bracket are Abilene (36-3), Miege (11-28), Paola (25-12) and Tonganoxie (23-13). Note the Miege record, but never bet against the Stags since they play a lot of big-time out-of-state teams.
The semifinals have a 2 p.m. start Saturday.