Top Reno County high school volleyball players who can lead teams in postseason

Billy Watson
The Hutchinson News
Pretty Prairie senior McKenna Vogl looks for a kill attempt in the Bulldogs' triangular against South Barber Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at Burrton High School.

With two weeks left in the high school volleyball regular season, Reno County high school volleyball teams are beginning their preparations for their sub-state tournaments.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association has released its sub-state assignments and seeding managers, and Nickerson will host one of the eight sub-state tournaments. In addition, Hutchinson High School athletic director Kevin Armstrong was named a seeding manager. 

Throughout the season, four Reno County volleyball squads have floated around in the Kansas Volleyball Association rankings: the Hutchinson Salthawks, Nickerson Panthers, Pretty Prairie Bulldogs, and Central Christian Cougars. The Salthawks have been consistent and have appeared in the lower half of the top 10, currently ranked the eighth-best team in the state, according to the KVA poll.

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The Nickerson Panthers have been voted in and out of the poll all year long. Most recently, the Panthers did not see their name in the 3A rankings (also were ranked in 4A before realignment). The Panthers have losses to Smoky Valley multiple times and a couple other ranked teams but have won consistently over the season. In addition, the Panthers beat the Salthawks at the McPherson volleyball tournament last weekend and are peaking at the right time.

Hutchinson Salthawks junior hitter Mya Thompson attempts a kill during the McPherson invitational Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at McPherson High School.

Pretty Prairie has been dominant all year long as well. The Bulldogs are ranked currently as the No. 4 team in Class 1A Div. I. Some matches for the Bulldogs last as short as 25 minutes. The Central Christian Cougars were one of the teams to knock off the Bulldogs, which explains their reasoning for being ranked as well. The Cougars are currently No. 9 in Class 1A Div. II.

The Bulldogs have lost only four games this season.

There are players on each squad, as well as the rest of the Reno County volleyball teams, who will be vital to helping each respective team in its postseason. Here are those players to watch that can lead their teams in the postseason:

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Hutchinson Salthawks senior hitter Maliyah Johnson hits the ball from the back row during the McPherson invitational at McPherson High School Saturday, Oct. 9,  2021.

Hutchinson Salthawks

Maliyah Johnson 

Mya Thompson 

Rachel Tomac 

Kaitlin Yoder 

Nickerson junior hitter Ava Jones (center) and sophomore hitter Destiny Ponds (left) celebrates after scoring a point during the McPherson invitational Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at McPherson High School.

Nickerson Panthers 

Ava Jones 

Josie McLean 

Destiny Ponds 

Pretty Prairie Bulldogs 

Jorah Harbaugh 

McKenna Vogl 

Grace Webster

Aubrey Young

Central Christian's Aly Lambert (30) spikes the ball against Pretty Prairie during their game Tuesday night in Hutchinson. Central Christian defeated Pretty Prairie 17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 29-27.

Central Christian Cougars

Kaylee Kauffman

Aly Lambert 

Samantha Ramsey 

Trinity Catholic Celtics

Hanna Crockett 

Lauren Liebl

Karolyn McConna

Buhler senior setter Megan Brown celebrates after the Crusaders score a point during a match at Newton High School.

Buhler Crusaders 

Megan Brown

Caroline Wagner

Langdon-Fairfield Falcons 

Erin Schwertfeger

Paisley Smyth

Haven Wildcats 

Bri Brawner