When McPherson High’s volleyball team makes its home debut today at the Roundhouse, it will do so trying to maintain the momentum it started on Saturday in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Preseason Tournament at the Hutchinson Salthawk Activity Center.
The Bullpups, who host El Dorado and Buhler today starting at 5 p.m., lost their first match to Andover Central in three sets (25-19, 15-25, 15-25) before reeling off five wins in a row, all coming in straight sets. Andover Central went 6-0 on the day to win MHS’ portion of the tournament since there was no bracket play.
It was a good start for the Bullpups, who are trying to reconstruct after suffering massive graduation losses that included five starters, three of whom were three-year regulars.
“I was pleased with our progress from the start of the day to the end of the day,” MHS coach Christy Doile said. “Out of the teams that had winning records, I believe we were the team with the least returners. As a coach, I was proud of the progress throughout the day and final match with so many newcomers.”
The Bullpup wins were over Campus (25-21, 25-21), Goddard Eisenhower (25-23, 25-18), Salina South (25-19, 25-11), Salina Central (25-13, 25-19) and Newton (25-14, 25-14) .
Doile said the Goddard Eisenhower match was “the turning point of the day. As a team we started to be more efficient and the chemistry is becoming more natural.”
The match that perhaps pleased Doile the most, however, was against Newton.
“Newton is a great program that is consistently talented,” Doile said. “We knew playing them at the end of the day we needed to have gas left in our tank to compete. Magan Alexander tore apart their serve receive, scoring 11 points off of her serve in set 1. Taylor Metz and Megan Pedersen were able to add some key blocks on their outside that also added to the momentum. We finished the day with our best overall performance. Our chemistry and emotional stability was right where it needed to be and we handled a few runs by Newton. We limited our errors and played much more consistent. I also applaud the girls for executing their game plan assignments. We had missed some of our assignments earlier in the day and this match we were more efficient with our game plan and making quicker adjustments.”
Alexander and Pedersen were kill leaders on the day with 38 and 37, respectively. Rhianna Smith was the quarterback on the floor with 81 assists, with Pedersen next with 34. Hannah Marshall’s 47 digs were a team high.
The Bullpups hope to begin Division III play in style. El Dorado generally is one of the weaker teams in the league, but Buhler and MHS are fierce rivals.