New attitude propels Bobcats to volleyball split at Perry
Tuesday night the Basehor-Linwood volleyball team went into its Kaw Valley triangular at Perry-Lecompton with a different attitude than usual. Instead of being scared to take on league-power Lansing High School, the Bobcats were pumped up.
"I think we had a better attitude going into the game," junior Lindsay Cunningham said. "Usually we have the idea that we're going to lose, this time we were determined to do better."
They did, but it still wasn't quite enough. The Bobcats fell to Lansing in two-straight games, 15-3 and 15-7.
"We played Lansing a lot better tonight than we did last time," senior Jamie Cochran said.
Last time, the Bobcats were done in before they even got started. At a tournament at Lansing, LHS routed BLHS 15-2 and 15-1 in less than 25 minutes. Tuesday night, the Bobcats immediately matched their point totals of the last meeting by jumping out to 2-0 leads in both games, but the leads were too small and too early for them to build on.
"When you play a team that's that good, you can't relax for a second," coach Mardy Robinson said. "I still believe we're a better team than losing 15-3 and 15-7 showed."
Perhaps, but other than some early leads, the Bobcats never really got anything going in either game. BLHS quickly went down 10-2 in game one before surrendering five of the last six points in the loss.
In game two, the Bobcats hung around a little bit longer, pulling as close as 10-6 at one point, but the big-hitting and strong serving LHS squad was too much. Christina McCarty and Lindsay Cunningham led the Bobcats in kills in the first match and Cristin Burnett, Briana Barron and Laura Steeby chipped in solid serving, great hustle and even a couple blocks.
"I like playing Lansing because you absolutely have to be at your best," Steeby said.
The second game of the night saw the Bobcats spoil Senior Night for the host team. BLHS sent five Perry-Lecompton seniors away losers with a 15-11, 15-5 straight-game victory.
Much the way the Bobcats were handled in the opener, BLHS did the same to the Kaws in the finale. In the first game Cochran got BLHS out to a great start with six straight serves that built a 9-1 lead. More McCarty kills and some solid serving and hustle from senior Kelleigh Gorup allowed the Bobcats to prevail, 15-11.
The second game was dominated by McCarty. Every spike she hit seemed to come a little bit higher and a little bit harder and it was apparent that McCarty did not want the match to go three games. Neither did her coach, who said that overall the meet was a success.
"We knew coming in that Lansing was going to be tough," Robinson said. "But we were able to get some moral victories there. And then to be able to put Perry away in two games was huge, because we didn't want to go a third with them."
The league split came in the wake of an outstanding performance by the Bobcats over the weekend at the De Soto tournament. The Bobcats advanced to the semifinals, only to lose to eventual champion, Spring Hill. The Bobcats took Spring Hill to three games in the semis and in the third game they even had a match point.
The Bobcats ended up dropping the third game to Spring Hill, 16-14, and went on to lose the consolation game to Osawatomie. But McCarty said taking fourth out of 19 was a big thrill.
"We just all clicked," McCarty said. "That's the first Saturday I've ever played that we've done well."
The Bobcats weren't exactly sure why they played so much better this Saturday, than they had in all of the other weekend tournaments this year, but Cunningham said it all came back to attitude.
"We just made up our minds that we were going to do great and we did," Cunningham said. "I think our little losing streak is over."
The Bobcats will put that claim to the test Tuesday, Oct. 16, when they play a quadrangular at Olathe South.