Wildcat volleyball team’s struggles continue
Though De Soto's girl's volleyball team continues to struggle, they have started to show flashes of possibly turning things around.
Their woes continued in the always tough Lansing tournament last Saturday. The tournament included such power house teams as Lansing, Topeka Washburn Rural and Louisburg.
De Soto lost matches to Louisburg (7-15, 1-15), Piper (15-13, 7-15, 13-15), Atchison County Community High School (3-15, 12-15) and Topeka Washburn Rural (0-15, 1-15) in pool play.
Atchison then defeated the Lady Cats for ninth place with a two set 15-9 and 15-10 triumph.
De Soto was dominated by Washburn and Louisburg, but was able to piece runs together against Piper and Atchison County.
The Lady Cats were actually in position to put Piper away, but the Lady Pirates rallied.
After De Soto won a tough 15-13 first game, Piper evened the match with a 15-6 win in game two.
De Soto built a lead of 9-5 early in game three by going on an 8-3 run on the serving of Tia Bernard, Allie Heinen and McKenzie King. The hitting of Heinen and ace serves by Bernard and Heinen aided the Lady Cat run.
But Piper was able to rally by scoring eight of the final nine points to pull out the win.
"We also went three sets with Piper last year in the tournament," said head coach Kelly Meyer. "We just used up all of our energy and enthusiasm against them. We were mentally drained after the match."
Against Atchison County, De Soto took advantage of a decided height advantage to Block their way to a 12-5 lead in game two. Atchison County listed no player taller than 5-foot, 8-inches on the roster.
Heinen and Emily Holton used their 5-foot, 11-inch frames to block five enemy attacks with four falling for aces in the run.
But serve receiving became a problem and Atchison County reeled off 10 straight points to win the match in straight sets.
An ace serve and the hitting of Amanda Miller and Jessica Thompson sealed De Soto's fate.
"We couldn't get a good pass off of our serve receiving," said Meyer. "They weren't doing anything special with their serves."
Meyer agreed her team did a nice job blocking against Atchison County. But said it needs to work on putting the game away once they get a lead.
"We have to learn to finish strong," said Meyer. "We can't seem to get over the hump."
De Soto, 0-7, hosted a triangular with Paola and Tonganoxie Tuesday and travels to Shawnee Mission West for a quadrangular with West, Shawnee Mission North and Lawrence tonight.