Front row: Lauren Labertew, Brette Doile, Ella Schmid and Jersey Lopez.
Back row: Kaylee Zeitlow, Sophia Herrera, Rhian Swanson, Emily Whorton and Sheridan Bliss.
DERBY — McPherson’s eighth-grade girls volleyball team made it to the championship match of the Pioneer League Tournament on Saturday and took Hutchinson to three sets before losing the final two by close margins for second place.
MMS had defeated Salina Lakewood (25-9, 15-25, 15-8) and Derby (25-17, 25-22) in pool play. In the semifinals, the Bullpups dominated Derby North (25-16, 25-9) which set up a big championship match with Hutchinson.
The Bullpups started well with a 25-23 win, but the Salthawks won the final two sets in tense fashion, 25-23, 15-13.
MMS finished the year 18-2.
“What an outstanding season,” MMS coach Jacque Colgrove said. “These girls have made huge gains throughout the last two months. After some ups and down during the first three matches of the day, I am so proud of the effort they gave to close out the tournament. The entire match with Hutch was close throughout as neither team could gain a big advantage. They should not be ashamed of getting second place. They fought hard to win, but unfortunately came up a little short.”
Colgrove said the Bullpups received max effort from all involved.
“We had strong hitting from Rhian Swanson and Ella Schmid, who had her best passing and attacking day of the season,” Colgrove said. “Strong all-around play by Brette Doile and Kaylee Zeitlow included them continuing to set well and control the offense. Overall, our serving was decent. Emily Whorton and Sophia Herrera strung together a couple serving runs. Lauren Labertew, Schmid and Doile continued to receive and dig well. Jersey Lopez stepped up big today, as she played mainly B-team this year, and was counted on to play all-round at times in multiple matches today. Sheridan Bliss also came in during a tense moment early in the day and did her job. If this group continues to work hard and play as a team, then success will continue to find them in the future.”