No one really came close to upending the McPherson High volleyball team Saturday in the McPherson Invitational until the championship match, as the Pups rolled through the competition on their way to the title at the McPherson High Roundhouse.
The Pups, coming off a shaky performance last week in a triangular against El Dorado and Mulvane, looked crisp throughout their four games in pool play. They defeated Goddard (25-11, 25-12), Salina Central (25-17, 25-13), Nickerson (25-11, 25-12) and Salina South (25-10, 25-7) to go 4-0 on the morning.
“I was thrilled to see our girls clicking again, physically and mentally,” Bullpup coach Christy Doile said. “I believe the two skills are connected, their gifted physical ability is best used when they are mentally driven. They have been working hard on mastering the mental part of the game, as well as cleaning up some of their physical skills.”
When bracket play commenced, the Pups faced off first with Salina South, downing the Cougars in straight sets 25-9, 25-6. They had a rematch with Salina Central in the championship match, where the Mustangs gave the Pups (32-2) all they could handle before pulling out the 25-20, 25-19 win.
Doile was happy with her squad’s intensity, noting there were a few areas they wanted to work on in practice leading up to Saturday’s tournament.
“We wanted to be better at serve receive,” Doile said, “we had to communicate better and be determined to not give up aces. We wanted to adjust to other teams’ offense quicker and more efficiently to make stops. We worked on our blocking form and communication. We want to convert our blocking errors to positive touches or stuff blocks for points.”
Alisa Becker led the team with a .404 hitting percentage, followed closely behind by Janae Barnes’ .394. Paige Regnier led the Pups with 45 kills, while Barnes had 32 and Megan Pedersen had 29.
Regnier also led in aces with six, while Barnes and Magan Alexander both had five. Becker led in blocks with eight stuff blocks for the Bullpup defense.
Bishop Carroll won third place, defeating Salina South 25-23, 25-20. In the consolation bracket, Nickerson took fifth, defeating Goddard (24-26, 25-22, 25-21).
The Pups are back on the road tonight, as they take part in a triangular at Buhler High School that also includes Winfield.
Contact Chris Swick by email at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.