HUTCHINSON—After a shaky 0-2 start of Saturday's AVCTL Preseason Tournament at Hutchinson, the McPherson High School volleyball bounced back by collecting four straight wins to end the tournament. It also included giving Christy Doile her 400th wins in her coaching career.
Doile's 400th win came after beating Dodge City High School. Being that this is Doile's 14th season with the Bullpups, she looked back at all the accomplishments throughout her career in McPherson. Her coaching record is now 403-152.
"I thought back to all the great players, seasons and coaches that have been with me over the years," I kind of got emotional," Doile said. "Coaching volleyball has been a passion of mine, and it has created lots of lifetime memories, relationships. I also thought having Brette, my daughter, as a sophomore was also kind of sweet too to be part of 400. Coaching volleyball, I have had to miss quite a bit of my own children's games as they've grown up, as I was with my McPherson High School team.
The Bullpups' first two losses were from both Goddard High School (23-25, 15-25) and Andover High School (17-25, 23-25). Doile discovered the issues with the two losses as she had to make adjustments before their next match. Goddard and Andover would eventually finish in the top two after the tournament.
"Against Goddard, we hit .300 as a team, which is good enough to win a match usually," Doile said. "We had too many unforced errors. We struggled to receive Hackerott's topspin serve. Andover, we played better overall, but our hitting percentage dropped."
The Bullpup returned to their winning ways as they swept both Dodge City (25-19, 25-13) and Campus (25-13, 25-15). The final two matches got tougher as McPherson went into three sets with Valley Center High School and Maize High School.
Beating Valley in a close set was a big turning point," Doile said. "Winning a third set was also positive. "Maize was probably our best match of the day. As a team, all of our positional skills were spot-on. We played extremely well in set 3."
The Bullpups finished 4-2 in their pool record and now 6-2 this season. Doile was pleased on how overcame the 0-2 start. Rhian Swanson led the Bullpups with 53 kills and second with four blocks. Brette Doile collected 113 assists and 11 aces. Taylor Casebeer picked up 35 digs, and Andrea Sweat was third in kills with 31 and led with five blocks.
"We got better as the day went on. We opened up with the toughest teams in our pool. Both ranked in 5A," Doile said. "We could finally take a breath as we played Dodge and Campus. We gained some confidence and momentum. It was great to see the kids not give up. They were coachable and fought hard. It was exciting to watch them improve throughout the day."
The Bullpups will now focus on their triangular match hosted by Rose Hill High School on Tuesday at 5 p.m. McPherson will take on the Rockets and Augusta High School at 5 p.m.
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