LVHS, Rams go 1-1/Lansing rolls Turner

It was a night of ups and downs for the Leavenworth and Pleasant Ridge high school volleyball teams on Tuesday night, but one thing is certain:

Both teams are learning plenty about themselves in the meantime.

The Pioneers of Leavenworth bounced back from a 2-0 (25-21, 25-17) defeat at home against Shawnee Mission East by beating Shawnee Mission North 2-0 (25-10, 25-22) in the nightcap to move to 5-8 on the season.

As for Pleasant Ridge, the Rams did the reverse, routing McLouth 2-0 (25-7, 25-15) and then falling in two sets to Jefferson County North, 25-10, 25-13.

For LVHS, head coach Cassandra Rockers got to experience a vast array of stimuli to come away with plenty of observations. 

“It was our side of the net (against East), because we are not focused on what we need to do and more on who is on the other side of the net,” Rockers said. “Too many unforced errors, multiple serving errors - something you have complete control over. It’s that mindset I am going to continually talk of needing to improve.

“We set some goals before the (North) match so we had something to work towards and something to work for, so there was motivation. They knew who was on the other side of the net and they knew they could win that game.”

Randi Raymos had nine kills, Maya Raney-Johnson had five kills and Hannah Wagner tallied four kills in the win. Jessica Sachen added 12 digs and four aces while Wagner knocked out three aces.

Ayden Bartlett had six kills and Wagner contributed five in the East defeat.

Against North, the Pioneers came out storming after the disappointing performance against East, and then led big in set two before a hiccup allowed their guests to make things interesting.

A Raymos tip ended things.

“It was very good that we came back as a collective whole and played together,” Bartlett said. “We wanted to beat that team and it was a big league win. We definitely had the goal to do what we normally do and play hard. Our energy level was higher…all-around everyone did a lot better.

“It’s having the correct mentality going all 25 points at 100 percent effort. Once we have that, we can play well and beat some teams. We are progressing and learning from our mistakes.”

Pleasant Ridge dominated McLouth with solid play at the net as they controlled that key area of combat and didn’t make many unforced errors to allow its guests any momentum.

The Rams (5-8, 4-4) have done well considering all the offseason flux they went through with no coach in place until weeks before the season began.

In the win against McLouth, Julie Miller had nine kills and Haley Forge added eight kills.

“We’re becoming a lot more consistent,” PRHS head coach Joy Ewert said. “Passing is our weakness, but we are getting a lot better with that. We are hitting the ball more and our middles (Miller and Kaija Nutsch) are what really helped us that game and Montanna Adams who is our strongest outside hitter. We have to keep those passes going, because if we don’t, we won’t get those sets.”

Two of the more key positions setter (Hanna Forge) and libero (Bailey Ko) are manned by only a sophomore and a freshman respectively.

“Bailey has really impressed me and she doesn’t really let anything drop,” Ewert said. “Hanna is becoming more confident too and so if our passes aren’t up there she is still able to make a good set. Both have made really big improvements.”

The sophomore Nutsch says her crew doesn’t use a younger collective age as a crutch to make mistakes and go ‘oh well.’

“We realize we might be a young team, but if we are going beat some of the better teams we have to play as hard as we can,” Nutsch said. “Our young players love volleyball and we would do anything to compete with anyone.”

Lansing dominates Turner

The Lions continued their impressive season with a commanding 3-0 (25-6, 25-6, 25-4) rout at Kansas City Turner.

Karli Schmidt led Lansing with 12 kills while Rachel Fairbanks (six kills), Lacey Angello (five kills) and Amelia VanDerWurff (five kills) contributed in the attack. 

Kennedy Farris served up 10 aces and Courtney Rexroat wrapped the night with 29 assists.