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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • New strategy helps Lady Pioneers get over .500

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  • The Lady Pioneers have won three in a row after beating Junction City and Atchison at home Monday night. With two non-league teams visiting Leavenworth, head coach Josh Padilla saw it as an opportunity to prepare for teams that are stronger and in their league. “Not to take them for granted, but we knew they weren’t strong teams coming in,” Padilla said. “We are trying to institute a different offense now to try to get ready for the stronger teams that we play in our conference.” The new strategy worked well Monday night en route to defeating Junction City (25-14 and 25-12) and Atchison (25-13, 25-17). “We are working on trying to get the girls to go into a match and think about it a little bit different,” Padilla said. “So coming into the matches thinking we are going to be the aggressor and then once we have control, minimize our errors.” It seemed to go well for the Lady Pioneers. They went up 6-1 on Junction City early on, and the lead never got less than four in the first set. Leavenworth got up 23-12 before closing out the 25-14 victory. In the second set, the Lady Blue Jays went up 5-4, but the Lady Pioneers controlled the set after that and won it by 13. Junior Mahogani Gant had a powerfull spike to put the match away. Once again, Leavenworth came out attacking to start the match against Atchison – going up 12-3 to start. Senior setter Sydney Moon made the play of the set by diving to keep the ball from going out of bounds on the Lady Pioneers when it was 24-13 Leavenworth. The ball would end up being spiked by Senior Michelle Tennant to win the first set. Similar to the second set against Junction City, the Lady Pioneers would fall behind 2-0 early to Atchison, but came back to go up 5-2 and didn’t look back. Atchison did keep it interesting for a while by making it 17-11, but errors gave Leavenworth the win. “We do have an offensive strategy that we are doing right now that is focused on letting the other teams make the errors rather giving away points on missed hits,” Padilla said. The Lady Pioneers are now 7-6 and will go face two teams below them in the Sunflower League on Thursday at Shawnee Mission North with Lawrence.
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