By Steve Sell
Sentinel Sports Editor
After a long weekend in Ottawa covering five matches against outstanding competition, McPherson High’s volleyball team perhaps deserved a little downtime here Tuesday.
The Bullpups were razor sharp in taking out El Dorado in 25 minutes (25-11, 25-7), then battled some complacency issues in taking straight-set victories from Mulvane (25-17, 25-14).
MHS coach Christy Doile saw her team put its full arsenal on display in the opener, including some outstanding hitting from Briana Pontious, Katelyn Loecker and Paige Regnier.
Against Mulvane, though, it was as close as 17-14 in the first set before MHS closed strong with an 8-3 run behind some nice serving by Moira Pyle and some key plays late by Loecker, including two tips that found the open spaces.
MHS meandered early in the second set, tied 9-9, then grabbed control by rattling off one of its patented runs.
While Doile was pleased with the El Dorado match, the Mulvane match was inconsistent.
“We played well the first match, but I don’t know what was wrong in the second match,” Doile said. “But we finished OK.”
Tashley Snyder had a good night, as she’s been trying to come back from an injury. “She’s getting closer to normal. Her personality is starting to come back,” Doile said. “We weren’t able to set her some of the time this past weekend. Tonight we could back set her anytime we wanted.”
Doile also was pleased with the serving of the team.
“We had some stretches of serving that were really good,” Doile said. “Abby Pedersen started the game off with Mulvane well. I was happy with most of our servers. We were dropping some short balls. Some of those balls this past weekend were hitting the net or not even getting to the net.”
Now 26-3, the Bullpups have a huge Saturday coming up with their annual invitational, which features no less than five teams that can be considered among the best in their particular class, including Wichita powers Kapaun and Carroll, as well as Salina Central and Mill Valley.
“I told them right after tonight that it’s loaded,” Doile said of the field. “Of the top five teams, only the top four make the main court. Somebody good is going to be left out.”
El Dorado outlasted Mulvane 27-25, 25-18 to finish 1-1 on the night.
The Bullpups’ JVs came away with a 2-0 night. They got by El Dorado (25-21, 25-16) and then needed three sets to get past Mulvane (25-16, 23-25, 25-7). The Bullpups are now 23-3 on the year.