CLAY CENTER — The McPherson High School volleyball team weathered the storm, and now the Bullpups are headed to the Class 4A State Semifinals this Friday in Hutchinson.


McPherson traveled to Clay Center on Tuesday for a best three-out-of-five match against the Tigers, and the Bullpups won in straight sets.


However, it was not smooth sailing early on.


The Bullpups trailed 18-12 in the first set, but a 13-4 run to close it out gave McPherson a 25-22 win. McPherson won the second set 25-22 as well.


With a 2-0 lead, McPherson was able to cruise to a 25-15 in the third set to punch its ticket to Hutchinson.


"We earned that win," McPherson head coach Christy Doile said. "Clay Center is athletic and is used to winning. The gym was loud and all, we couldn’t hear one another call the ball or set. It was a fun environment and different from what we’ve been playing in."


McPherson, now 33-3, is one of four teams remaining. Andale (34-2) has the best record, followed by Ottawa (23-13) and Bishop Miege (17-11).


The four teams will play each other in pool play, then they will be seeded in bracket play. McPherson opens play at 10:45 a.m. against Andale at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.