From the euphoria of victory to the heartbreak of defeat, postseason volleyball took the local high schools for a ride Saturday.
While all four eventually saw their 2012 seasons come to a close, there were plenty of highs from start to finish during this year’s roller coaster known as substate.
The Lady Pioneers had the privilege to host its Class 5A substate, where it faced rival Lansing for the first time this season in the opening round.
In front of a packed gymnasium, the Lady Pioneers suffered a 25-20, 25-17 defeat at the hands of the Lady Lions.
“Lansing is a great team,” LV coach Josh Padilla said. “It was nice to see these LV girls not give away the game. We simply got beat by a team that on this particular day was better.”
Poor starts put Leavenworth behind the eight ball in both sets. In game one, the team did fight back to retake a 15-14 lead, but couldn’t complete the rally. In game two, the Lady Pioneers never could recover from a 6-1 start.
“It was a good building block season,” Padilla said. “I’m proud of these girls and I can’t wait for next season.”
Following its emotional win over Leavenworth, the Lady Lions faced Shawnee Heights for a bid to state.
“We came out and worked hard to beat Leavenworth,” Lansing coach Julie Slater said. “They had a good team and were a much better team than their record showed. We knew that coming in and knew that we would need a good game to beat them.”
During the championship, Lansing endured through similar shoddy starts like the Lady Pioneers, watching Heights race out to 7-3 and 5-1 advantages in both games. It became too much for the team to overcome and the Lady Lions lost 25-11, 25-17.
“After that (Leavenworth match) there was a little mental let down,” Slater said. “I felt it took the first game to adjust to the fast speed of the game. I was thrilled that my girls played hard in the second set. There were some great long rallies and amazing defensive plays. I would put my team up against any team in the state defensively and that is something we can be very proud of.”
Like Leavenworth, Immaculata hosted its Class 2A substate tournament. With the hometown crowd behind them, the Lady Raiders ran through its first two opponents before hitting a road block in the end.
“We were really pleased with how we played,” Imac coach Dan Schmidt said. “We made it to the finals, which was one of our goals, and just came up a little short.”
First, Imac beat Kansas City Christian 25-11, 25-10. Then, the squad took down Doniphan West 25-18, 25-11. However, in the championship, the Lady Raiders lost a highly-competitive game one, 26-24, to Jefferson County North after holding a late 23-21 lead.
“I knew whoever got that first game would have a big advantage,” Schmidt said. “It was back and forth, a fight until the end and we gave them all we had.”
Immaculata struggled to bounce back in the second game and fell 25-13.
“We finished the year 28-10, one of the best years we’ve had in a while,” the Imac coach said, “and I’m just really proud of what these girls accomplished.”
The Lady Rams were the lone local team to have an extensive travel schedule for its Class 3A substate.
Ridge journeyed to Council Grove High, where PR faced West Franklin. Rough starts led to tough finishes for Pleasant Ridge as the team was beat 25-8, 25-16.
“We had moments where we had good plays, but overall we were just off,” PR coach Amy Bergman said, “I don’t know whether it was the stress of substate or a bad warm-up, but we weren’t clicking together. The effort was there though, so I was proud of them.”
Spires swept in McPherson
The University of Saint Mary volleyball team lost in straight sets Monday.
Traveling to McPherson, the Spires fell 25-11, 25-18, 25-18.
On Saturday, the team played in a tournament hosted by Haskell Indian Nations University, where Saint Mary finished 1-2.
The Spires lost to Missouri Valley College 25-15, 25-12, 25-21 before beating Central Christian College 25-14, 25-10, 25-6. In its last match of the day, USM fell 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 14-16 to its hosts.
Saint Mary, 9-19 and 4-10 in the KCAC, will host Friends University at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
By Brent Lager
The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
By Brent Lager
Updated Oct. 22, 2012 @ 2:30 pm
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