HUTCHINSON— McPherson High School volleyball team and 16 other schools opened their season at Hutchinson as they competed at the Hutchinson Preseason Tournament on Saturday. The Lady Pups qualified to the elite division and despite the opportunity to share the title in the final match, the Lady Pups finished third in the division.

The Bullpups went on an impressive run after going 3-0 in their pool play.

"It has been several years since we won our pool and had the opportunity to be on the top court," head coach Christy Doile said.

After advancing to the elite brackets, McPherson went 4-2, losing in the first round to Andover High School (19-25, 26-24, 21-25), and then to Newton High School in the final round (25-9, 25-12, 25-21). Both coming down to final set. Newton and Andover finished in the top two.

"Both of our losses were in three sets, so we put ourselves in a great opportunity to win the invite," Doile said.

As Lady Pups went on to face Newton in the final match, if they win, the will tie for first place.

"We were tied 20-20 in set three. Set one we dominated , Set two they dominated, Set three they started with the big lead, I called second timeout at 15-9 or 15-6 " Doile said.

"I told the kids to play like they were winning. The momentum shifted, and we are all tied up at 20s," she continued. "In the 20s, we had two calls that didn't go our way. A two hit call, that we feel was clean. A player releasing too early on a serve for an out of rotation call on game point. Overall great match, both teams played hard late in the day."

Newton went on to finish first after going 6-0. Andover went second at 5-1, and McPherson took third at 4-2.

"We wanted to have fun and compete. We 100 percent did that," Doile said.

Throughout the tournament, Doile was proud of each her player that was involved. Each player showed life and energy during the final match. Doile was pleased with the emotions from her players.

"Our bench was involved all day, I was proud of their engagement," Doile said. "I was proud of how hard and with passion our kids played with. Our returners really stepped up to lead and our new varsity kids put their nerves aside. Our players were very coachable and really gave it all they had."

The Bullpups will have their home opener on Tuesday as they will face Winfield High School and Andale High School in a triangular match on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Roundhouse.

 Bullpups pool bracket

McPherson def. Liberal High School (21-25, 25-15, 25-23),

McPherson def. Campus (25-11, 25-23)

McPherson def. Maize (25-21, 25-21)

First Bracket

McPherson lost to Andover (19-25, 26-24, 21-25)

McPherson def. Goddard (26-24, 25-22)

 McPherson lost to Newton (25-9, 25-12, 25-21)

 Individual Stats

 Kills

Rhian Swanson, 48

Kallie Jost, 33

Cassie Cooks, 27

Assists

Jaycee Burghart, 96

Kallie Jost, 21

 Digs

Michaela Bowers, 45

Meghan Smith, 21

Jaycee Burghart, 17

 Serve Aces

Taylor Casebeer, 14

Kallie Jost, 8

Michaela Bowers, 7

Cassie Cooks, 7

 Blocks

Cassie Cooks, 10

Katie Berg, 7

Rhian Swanson, 6

Sports EditorContact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports