For the second week in a row, McPherson and Rose Hill faced each other in a rematch from the 2012 Kansas State Volleyball Tournament semifinals, with the Rockets emerging the victors Tuesday.
The Pups lost their first match of the year in front of a home crowd at the McPherson High Roundhouse, falling 2-1 (25-15, 18-25, 22-25) to Rose Hill in game two of a triangular that also included Winfield. McPherson had won last week’s match 2-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-22).
MHS (13-1) and Rose Hill battled it out in the first set, exchanging points, before McPherson got some separation with a 3-0 run that quickly extended to a 12-2 run and left the Rockets struggling to catch up.
They did manage to get within ten, but McPherson put the first set on ice to win 25-15.
Set two was much the same, with the two teams going back and forth, but McPherson looked to duplicate their set one performance and got out in front of Rose Hill 10-3. Unfortunately, Rose Hill senior Kylie Pfaff took the Rockets on her shoulders, almost single-handedly dragging them back into the game and tying it up at 14-14.
The Rockets would extend their run out to 17-7, taking a 20-17 lead over MHS, and go on to win 25-18.
“I feel like [Rose Hill] must have changed something in what they were doing and we didn’t make the adjustment,” MHS coach Christy Doile said of that second set comeback. “One of the things I think they were doing was getting the ball and, not hitting it, they were putting it in the middle of the court. We weren’t making the defensive adjustment that we needed to.”
McPherson came out a little flat against Rose Hill in the third set, finding themselves down 13-5 before Doile took a time-out. The Pups came out of that break with some fire, fighting back and cutting the lead to 20-15. Pfaff, however, would serve four straight Rose Hill points to give the Rockets set point at 24-16.
McPherson refused to die, however, and made a tremendous comeback, avoiding set point on six different occasions and getting the score to within three before Rose Hill finally managed to shake off their shock over the Bullpup comeback and end the match with a 25-22 win.
“It was two different styles between the two Tuesday’s,” Doile said of the two Rose Hill matches. “Last week, we had troubles the whole time and scratched out a win and this time we were up big and then didn’t finish. I would like us to be a little more consistent.”
McPherson had no issues in match one against Winfield, blasting the Vikings 2-0 (25-2, 25-4). At one point during set one, senior Janae Barnes had gone on a streak of 21 straight serves before Winfield managed a point to break it up.
Page 2 of 2 - Senior Paige Regnier led the Pups with 13 kills on the night.
The JV squad also defeated Winfield 2-0 (25-14, 25-9), but fell to Rose Hill 1-2 (29-31, 25-20, 21-25).
McPherson is next in action Saturday, as they will be taking part in the Newton Invitational.
Contact Chris Swick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.