MHS spikers impressive in home opener

By Steve Sell
September 03, 2014
Kendall Shaw

Magan, Megan and Marshall sounds more like a law firm than a volleyball triumvirate that delivered some serious justice to El Dorado and Buhler here Tuesday night in the Bullpups’ home opener.

Magan Alexander, Megan Pedersen and Hannah Marshall, the Bullpups’ top returning players, were simply dominant as MHS breezed to easy victories to improve to 7-1 on the year.

The big-swinging Alexander delivered 19 kills and seven aces, the lefty Pedersen smashed 11 kills and also came up with eight digs, while Marshall drilled 12 kills and smoked five aces.

The Bullpups dispatched with El Dorado (25-7, 25-14) and Buhler (25-20, 25-18) in straight sets. While they rushed through the Wildcats as though they had a bus to catch, the arch-rival Crusaders put up more of a spirited battle.

MHS coach Christy Doile saw a lot of highlights and few lowlights on a night the Bullpups produced some spectacular points. Alexander and Pedersen threw down some powerful kills, while Marshall was the steady senior presence.

Rhianna Smith, who has patiently waited for her chance at setter after apprenticing behind the graduated Moira Pyle, was efficient with 28 assists. Addie Simon tied Marshall and Smith with seven digs each.

“We’re working on putting the ball in play and finish when you can,” Doile said. “If it’s not there, you’ll get another shot. We’re working on that hitting efficiency.”

MHS was never threatened by El Dorado. Against Buhler, the Crusaders hung around in the first set as late as 19-18 before back-to-back points by Alexander gave MHS some breathing room and Taylor Metz came up with a huge block late as the Bullpups finished the set strong.

Set 2 was still a 13-12 match before the Bullpups kicked it into another gear.

As a team, MHS delivered a healthy 17 aces.

“I’d like to see how many times we were aced though,” Doile said. “We were aced, in my opinion, too many times... the way you counter getting aced is acing them, it’s supposed to be a 2-to-1 ratio. Hopefully we didn’t get aced eight times or nine times.”

Doile had to ponder when assessing the night overall.

“League match, we got two wins,” she said. “So that’s our first league opponents that count and we got both of them in two sets. I am really challenging the girls to show a little bit more emotion... we’re going to need that style of play on down the road in those tougher matches.”

MHS’ JVs opened with a 2-0 day, 25-19, 25-15 over El Dorado and 25-20, 25-5 over Buhler. Coach Diane Marshall said it was a team effort, though Chayce Pontious’ serving was a highlight with a 15-point salvo in Game 2 against Buhler.

MHS is back home Tuesday to take on Mulvane and Wellington.