Lady ‘Cats swept in opener
The Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball team opened the season Tuesday, Sept. 3, with three straight losses.
After falling to Baldwin and Eudora in the first two matches of the night, BLHS stepped onto the court to face their rival Bonner Springs in the final match, with both schools looking to salvage one win.
In game one of the final match, the Bobcats raced out to a 7-1 lead behind the strong serving of Cristin Burnett and Aubrey Bittel. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, their hot serves quickly went cold and the Lady 'Cats managed just one more point in the contest.
"That was very uncharacteristic of us," BLHS coach Mardy Robinson said of the team's serving trouble. "We're usually a very consistent serving team and giving points away like that really hurt us."
The Bobcats' lead reached 8-3 midway through the match, but then Bonner Springs senior Andrea Dill took over.
Dill recorded back-to-back blocks for points to cut the lead to 8-5, and then added back-to-back kills to give the Bravettes the lead for good, 9-8.
Robinson said Dill's dominance shifted the momentum of the game and her team was not able to recover.
"Volleyball is a game of momentum and when the momentum changes as quickly as it did in that game, it's tough to bounce back from that," Robinson said. "Andrea played very well and it put the pressure on us and we didn't respond."
Part of the reason the Bobcats were unable to respond was their youth. Two sophomores and three juniors saw a lot of floor time and Robinson said the team has not had a chance to mesh yet.
"That was the first time this group has played together in competition, so communication was a definite issue," she said. "We just didn't play like we're capable of playing, but we had some quality opponents and we know what we need to work on now."
In game two, it was the Bobcats, who quickly fell behind. BSHS senior Nicki McGinnis rattled off eight straight points to open the game and BLHS never recovered.
The Lady 'Cats cut the score to 10-8 at one point midway through the game, but got stuck on eight again and fell in both contests 15-8 to suffer the two-game sweep.
Robinson said the main concern after starting the season 0-3 was to become more consistent. She said the Bobcats did a poor job of passing and communicating and because of that they were not able to set up their attacks.
Senior striker Lindsay Cunningham managed just 10 kills in three matches and the other BLHS hitters were limited, too.
"We just need to be more consistent in every aspect of the game," Robinson said. "Right now it's just an experiment out there, with trying to find out who fits where and who can do what. It just takes practice and passing and talking are two of the things we're going to be working on for the next week."
The Bobcats are off until Sept. 14, when they will play in the Lansing Tournament. Robinson said she would rather get back on the court for their next game sooner, but added there are plenty of things that will keep her team busy during the off week.
"It would be nice to get back at it and get this taste out of our mouths," she said. "But there are things we can work on and I think once we get some more consistency we're going to be fine."