CLEARWATER — The day didn’t start well for Hesston High’s volleyball team in Saturday’s Clearwater Invitational.
The Swathers lost for only the third time this year as Wichita Trinity pulled off 25-22, 26-24 upset wins.
But it was the only hiccup of the day.
Hesston stormed back to win four straight matches and knocked off the No. 1 team in Class 4A, defending state champion Rose Hill, in a three-setter to win the championship.
“Rose Hill was playing without their top hitter, who had sustained an injury earlier in the day,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “But they defeated Wichita Trinity in three sets in the other semifinal. After going back-and-forth in the first set, we fell behind and couldn’t catch up, but came back strong in the second set to pull ahead toward the end and send the championship match to a third set. We were exhausted at this point in the day, but came up with some timely kills and blocks, and great defensive hustle plays to pull ahead early and never gave up the lead, winning the championship at this tournament for the first time since 2001.”
Hesston defeated Rose Hill 22-25, 25-20, 25-15. The Rockets wound up with two more losses here as they were defeated by Douglass in pool play.
The Swathers defeated Clearwater (25-19, 25-11) and Conway Springs (25-16, 25-15) in pool play before defeating Douglass in a tough three-setter, 25-11, 18-25, 25-15.
Hesston’s Kailey Jo Ince was named tourney MVP and was joined on the All-Tourney Team by teammates Alaina Dunlavy and Mia Loganbill.
Hesston, now 32-3, is home on Tuesday with the Wichita Defenders and Lyons.