The McPherson High School volleyball team is already off to a hot start after sweeping Winfield High School and Circle High School during Tuesday's triangular at the Roundhouse.
The Bullpups were able to run away with their first league win against Winfield in two sets (25-15, 25-12), but also had to earn two more victories against Circle (26-24, 25-20).
"Circle is going to be good this year. Glad we played them second. It's nice to get a match in before we play Circle," Bullpups Head Coach Christy Doile said.
In their win against the Vikings, it was a warm-up they needed before taking on a strong Circle team.
Senior hitter Cassie Cooks led the Bullpups with seven kills, and KU commit Rhian Swanson was second with five. Andrea Sweat, who made her first return in the line up since her sophomore year after missing a whole season due to a foot injury, added three aces whenever she serves and four kills. Taylor Casebeer had a big night in her first start as a libero as she picked up eight digs.
Later on, the Bullpups were in a dog fight with the Thunderbirds. Despite winning all two sets, the Thunderbirds made them work for each point.
The Bullpups were off to fast start as they led as high as eight points in the first set. Eventually, Circle caught up to McPherson, only trailing 14-10. Circle captured its first lead at 17-16. Both teams went back-and-forth, that led to five different lead changes. Down two points, Circle earned two straight points and forced McPherson to get extra points to get out of the first set. McPherson survived.
In the second set, the Bullpups were the ones trailing behind early on. The Bullpups were not too far behind and eventually captured their first lead at 14-13. The Bullpups led as high as five points at 21-15. The Thunderbirds would make a run of their own at the last minute, but McPherson still had the upper hand with the 23-19 lead. McPherson earned two easy points off Circle's errors to claim set two. Both Swanson and Cooks tied for seven kills. Taylor Casebeer collected four digs, and Lauren Labertew picked up three assists as a starter. Doile was pleased on the Bullpups' 2-0 start but wants to see more .
"Passing, setting and our hitting percentage must go up," Doile said. "So I think everything will feed off–I think it is all tied together, but to be more competitive, we are going to have a high hitting percentage. To raise our hitting percentage, we going to have to set and pass better too."
Now 2-0, the Bullpups will be on the road on Saturday for the AVCTL Preseason tournament, which includes 14 other teams, beginning at 8 a.m.