Bobcats dig deep, win on Senior Night
Apparently Senior Night does mean a little more than most people think.
At least that's what it looked like Tuesday, Oct. 2, when Basehor-Linwood High School's five senior volleyball players threw all of their heart and soul onto the court to make sure that they won their final game in the BLHS gym.
"It was a great night," senior captain Christina McCarty said after the meet. "Of course I wanted to win because it was my Senior Night and we stepped up and got it done."
That they did. After dropping the first match of the night in two-straight games (15-8, 15-6) to league foe Santa Fe Trail, the Bobcats bounced back and disposed of Sumner Academy (15-7, 15-8) in the middle match to set up a dramatic nightcap against Piper High School.
"After we lost that first match to Santa Fe Trail, I told the girls that this was the last time they'd play at home and we could either go win the next two and go out two to one, or we could go out losers," coach Mardy Robinson said. "The seniors wanted to go out winners."
The Bobcats and Pirates had split their previous two meetings this season, and at the beginning of the first game of Tuesday's rubber match, it looked as if the two were again in for a closely contested bout. BLHS fell behind early, but then managed to grab a 7-4 lead. From that point on, however, Piper held BLHS scoreless and won game one 15-7.
Game two saw the Bobcats again jump out to a 7-4 lead. This time, however, they were able to hang on. Juniors Lindsay Cunningham and Cristin Burnett chipped in to help the seniors out in game two as Burnett successfully served six of the 15 points and Cunningham helped offset McCarty's presence with some solid hitting of her own, including the game-winner. The Bobcats won game two 15-11, and forced a third game.
Eight serves changed hands before the first point of the final game was scored and it came when senior Kelleigh Gorup served a ball that the Pirates couldn't quite handle. All five seniors were focused and determined to win game three, and that translated into a quick 7-1 BLHS lead. From there, however, things got ugly. The Bobcats surrendered seven straight points before gaining a side-out and 11 straight overall and they quickly found themselves down 12-7.
From there, however, the will of the seniors took over.
"That's certainly what Senior Night is all about," Robinson said. "Digging deep and getting it done."
The Lady Cats did dig deep, so deep in fact that they scored four of the last five points to win the game (16-14) and the match.
"To pull together like we did and get out of our slump on Senior Night was a really great feeling," Gorup said. "We couldn't have done it without all of the seniors wanting it and we all did."
During the final game, Robinson ran out of substitutions so Gorup and senior Briana Barron, who usually only play in the back row, were forced to play up front for some crucial points.
"They stepped up big-time," McCarty said of her fellow seniors. "Briana even got a block I was really proud of her."
And Robinson was proud of her entire team. The Bobcats improved their record to 12-14 overall and they will again take the floor Saturday, Oct. 6, at De Soto.