Bobcats sweep Bravettes
Basehor-Linwood volleyball salvages home meet with victory over rival
The third time was the charm for the Basehor-Linwood volleyball team on Tuesday. After losing both of their first two matches 2-0 against Eudora and Baldwin, the Lady Bobcats thumped rival Bonner Springs in two straight games to start off the season with a 1-2 record.
In their first game, a 25-10 loss to Eudora, the Bobcats looked confused and out of sync, with two players going after the same ball on several occasions.
Senior Katie Burchfield said the team's early struggles had nothing to do with their opponent.
"It was more just that we had first game jitters," Burchfield said.
The Bobcats settled in during the second game against Eudora and didn't go nearly as quietly.
An early run allowed BLHS to overtake Eudora for a 9-8 lead, causing Eudora coach Jill Stutler to leap off her bench and call angrily for a time out. Her players responded, going on to beat BLHS 25-16.
Basehor-Linwood didn't have any easier time in the night's second match against Baldwin. They were beaten 25-18, 25-12, though not for lack of effort.
The team made several sprawling digs, with junior Morgan Kenney even diving into the bench to try to save an errant pass early in the second game.
In both the Eudora and Baldwin matches, the Bobcats struggled to defend against taller opponents at the net, a problem that coach Lisa Phelps said would be addressed in practice.
"We're small," Phelps said. "We've got to be quick on the attack and good on our blocks or we're going to eat it."
Before the showdown with Bonner Springs, Phelps said she called on her seniors to "step up to the plate" and show leadership.
The team, and Burchfield especially, took the coach's words to heart. The senior had several blocks and kills early in the first game, as the Bobcats jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead. BLHS never looked back, winning 25-14.
Burchfield said the early run was key to restoring the team's morale.
"We were all down and we needed some kind of boost of confidence, to just know that we do know what we're doing and we can do it," Burchfield said.
Bonner Springs hung with the Bobcats throughout the second game, coming as close as 21-19 before another BLHS spurt closed out the 25-22 victory.
Although it was only the first night of the season, Phelps said the victory over Bonner Springs was significant for the Bobcats.
"It let them know that they could work as a team and do it," Phelps said. "They needed some confidence tonight after we took a pounding in those first two matches."
Phelps added that despite the two early losses, the team's passing had been good throughout the night, and was something to build on for the rest of the season.
The Bobcats will have the next week off and will return to action Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Lansing High School tournament.