WINFIELD—The McPherson High School volleyball already claimed the AVCTL D-III regular season, but on Tuesday at Winfield's triangular, the Bullpups got a little taste in what to expect in sub-state when they took on the No. 1 team in Class 4A Andale High School.
The Bullpups took care of business in game one when they put away Winfield, 25-19, 25-13 to complete its league-play. McPherson finished with the year with a 9-1 record in their league, earning them the regular-season title.
Against Andale, Bullpups coach expected an intense three-set battle. McPherson took the win in set one, but fell in two straight sets, giving the Andale the win. (25-19, 20-25, 14-25).
We had a pretty good night," Doile said. "Our plan was to come out against Andale like it was a sub-state day. We played with emotion, bodies were flying, and we had the momentum for sure."
During set one, the Bullpups at 13-8 lead until the fire alarm went off, evacuating everyone in the gym. The match resumed with McPherson getting the win, but Andale was not too far off. Set two, McPherson had the edge, but then errors came into play that changed the momentum.
"We were up by seven points in the middle of set 2, but this time we dished out multiple unforced errors amongst our team. Our confidence and momentum seemed to shift. Andale went on a huge run to finish set 2."
Andale forced set 3, which has been an issue for the Bullpups all year. Andale dominated the whole match, securing the win in the lasts set. Rhian Swanson led the Bullpups with 25 kills the entire night.
"We got off to a less effective offense start in set 3. It frustrated us a bit," Doile said. "We didn't handle the fight in Andale to get more touches, digs on our balls.
Brette Doile had 45 assists and served two aces. Andrea Sweat had three blocks, and Taylor Casebeer led with 28 digs.
"Lesson tonight was, I saw the team we want at sub-state, I saw the exact team we need," Doile said. "When we play a good team, they will fight back, and we have to handle their runs. We have to fight to keep momentum, keep confidence on Saturday. We get a second chance on Saturday to learn from our experience."
With the sub-state brackets already set, the Bullpups hold the No. 6 seed will travel to Andover High School on Saturday to take on No. 10 seed Goddard-Eisenhower High School. Winner will face the winner of the Andover-Arkansas City match in the sub-state finals.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter@Petes_Picks_