CHAPMAN—It was a gold medal day for the McPherson Middle School Seventh Grade volleyball team on Saturday as they traveled to Chapman and came home as champs after winning five straight matches in straight sets. Winning the championship brought the teams season mark to 8-2.

The day began with three straight two-set sweeps in pool play as the seventh-grade Junior Lady Pups ‘A’ team took down Salina Lakewood (25-16, 25-22), Fort Riley (25-8, 25-8) and tournament host Chapman (25-19, 25-7).

“The girls had a fantastic day of volleyball,” noted head coach Shelley Bohme. “We got off to a great start in the first set against Salina Lakewood. When we had our first challenge of the day after getting down 0-11 in the second set, Madi Moors and Macy Rinker put together some great serving runs in that set to help us pull out the win. We served the ball well against Ft. Riley, with Karter Alvord serving most of the second set. While we had more service errors against Chapman, we finished pool play 3-0.”

By winning pool play, McPherson then went into the semi-finals against Clay Center and once again gain victory on straight sets, winning 25-16, 25-19., then battled to a 30-28 first set win the championship match with Newton before putting the hammer down in set two, 25-11 and bringing home the tournament championship.

“I was pleased with our level of play when we face Clay Center as they had a lot of momentum after just winning a close three-set game with Marysville,” added Coach Brohme. “We came out with energy and had some great hustle. The championship match against Newton was so much fun to watch as the girls showed a lot of grit and toughness, especially in the first set.”

Coach Bohme concluded who coach reflections about the championship win by acknowledging some of the players, saying, “Rinker and Caitlyn Pearson were our standout serves in that final match with Newton, while Alexa Casebeer and Alex Romero passed the ball well and were able to get the ball to our hitters. Olivia Cheatham, Kaya Lowery, and Danica Brunk all had great plays at the net and are getting more aggressive with every game. Reanna Eilrich did a great job for us on the back row, often coming in when we were struggling to get a pass up and making a play. We did a nice job of digging and were able to attack as well against both Clay Center and Newton, both teams that set the ball up and attack.”

In the ‘B’ team tournament, the Junior Lady Pups took third place after winning their pool play before losing in the semi-finals.

Straight set victories over Salina Lakewood (25-18, 28-26), Fort Riley (25-10, 25-15) and host Chapman (25-13, 25-18) gave the ‘B’ team a shot in bracket play by winning their pool. In their first matchup in bracket play they lost a hard fought, tight two-set match to Marysville, 23-25, 23-25. McPherson then bounced back to defeat Salina Lakewood for a second time in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21 to take third.

With four wins and a loss for the day, the ‘B’ team is now 7-3 for the season.

“Today was a great day of volleyball for the girls,” commented Coach Abby Bradstreet. “They worked hard and overall played really well against all four teams. Marysville came out strong and overall we looked really sluggish and tired in that game. We fought hard, but in the end couldn’t come together as a team to get the win. Mallory Holmes and Aley Brown had some great passes throughout the day while Cailey Kueser, Aislyn Soukup, and Hunter Wilson served the best they have this season. Also Kylie Golden Addyson Senecal, and Vailyn Turley had some great plays at the net. All the girls hustled and communicated well throughout the tournament, it was fun to see the excitement and energy they brought in each match.”

The seventh grade spikers have little time to rest up from the tournament as they return to the court on Monday, Sept. 10 when they travel to Newton.

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