CLEARWATER — Hesston High’s volleyball team lost to Class 4A power Rose Hill Saturday in the semifinals of the Clearwater Invitational, but bounced back to defeat another 4A school, Wellington, for third place.
The Swathers had gone 3-0 in pool play with wins over Clearwater (25-21, 25-8), Wellington (25-9, 25-15) and Chaparral (25-20, 25-20).
Rose Hill took out Hesston in straight sets (25-18, 25-21), but the Swathers repeated an earlier win over Wellington (25-23, 25-13).
Hesston is now 30-3 with a home triangular Tuesday the only date left for the regular season.
“We had an up-and-down day, playing very well at times, but weren’t quite as sharp and didn’t play up to our potential at others,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “The Rose Hill match was the most disappointing of the day, as they are a good team with a very good setter, but we didn’t adjust well on defense to their attacks, and were back on our heels most of the match. We had several good runs in both sets, but dug ourselves a hole early each time and couldn’t quite recover. Wellington is a much-improved team from previous years, and we were able to beat them twice, winning third place at this tournament for the third time in four years.”
Peters admits his team has been keeping a frenzied pace.
“We have played 16 matches in the past two weeks against some good competition that will prepare us for a competitive sub-state next week,” he said. “When we play with energy and move well on defense, we are a strong team, but when we sit back and stop being aggressive, it opens the door for our opponents to gain momentum. We will have to find a way to get that energy every match for us to be able to compete well at sub-state next week.”
The Swathers dominated the All-Tourney team with Caylee Richardson, Jessanna Nebel and Kelsey Unruh all being selected.