This past week, Blazer Volleyball traveled to Salina to compete in the State tournament. It was definitely a weekend to remember!
On Friday afternoon, the Blazers opened pool play against Washburn Rural. The team came out strong but couldn’t maintain, falling 25-27, 19-25. Immediately after that match, the Blazers played Derby, winning the match with set scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-19. The team then had a match off, followed by our last game of the evening against Shawnee Mission Northwest. SMNW came to battle, beating us in three sets, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25.
At this point, it was 10:00 PM and the Blazers had a 1-2 record in pool play. To everyone involved, it seemed like we were eliminated from Saturday’s play. Thankfully, SMNW and Derby ended up with 1-2 records as well. According to tie-breaking procedures, since we had the second-best set winning percentage out of the lowest three teams and had beaten Derby head-to-head, the Blazers advanced to Saturday’s championship bracket. The match to determine whether or not we were playing on Saturday (WR vs Derby) didn’t finish until 11:10 so we didn’t get back to the hotel until 11:30 PM, but it ended up being completely worth it!
On Saturday, the Blazers faced off against the eventual State Champion Blue Valley High in the semifinals. The Blazers started strong but the Tigers ended up taking the match with set scores of 21-25, 18-25. Immediately following that match, the team played Blue Valley North for third place. The Blazers came out on fire, beating the Mustangs 25-14 in the first set before falling 17-25 in the second. The team finished the year playing solid volleyball as a team, winning the third set and match 25-11 to bring home the third place trophy!
This year was so special in many ways. On the court, the Blazers finished the year 28-13, first in the Sunflower League, won the Baldwin Invitational, finished second at the De Soto Spikefest, and finished second at the Washburn Rural Invitational. Kendra Wait and Morgan McIntire were named to the KVA State All-Tournament Team, and I’m sure that other awards will follow in the coming weeks for multiple players. The coaching staff could not be more proud of this team for their commitment to reach their goals and commitment to helping each other be the best players and people that they could be.