SALINA — At least McPherson High’s volleyball team can say it’s the Class 4A Division I public school state champion.
While private schools Bishop Miege and Topeka Hayden battled for the championship on Saturday with the Stags winning their 20th state title, public schools MHS and Louisburg needed three sets to determine the third-place team.
The Bullpups, who lost to the Wildcats in Friday’s pool play in straight sets, gained revenge and the third-place plaque as they won the deciding set, 25-22.
MHS had won the first set 25-18 before the Wildcats returned the favor, 25-23.
That completed a splendid 36-8 year for the Bullpups, who in the last four years have finished first (2012), second (2011) and third (2014), while making the state tourney in 2013.
The Bullpups’ Magan Alexander and Megan Pedersen, both juniors, were named to the All-Tournament Team. Half of the team was made up of juniors, the other half seniors. Miege claimed four spots on the team, Hayden three.
The Bullpups had lost to Hayden 16-25, 18-25 in the semifinals as the Wildcats were simply too good.
For Saturday, Pedersen and Alexander led in kills with 27 and 21, respectively. Alexander had four aces, Pedersen three and Rhianna Smith two. Smith had 43 assists, while Hannah Marshall and Pedersen led in digs with 17 and 11, respectively. Alexander, Smith and Addie Simon just missed double figures with nine each.
By losing to Miege in the finals after having beaten the Stags a day earlier in pool play, Hayden has now finished second in five of the last seven years.