Lady ‘Cats push Piper to tiebreaker
The Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball team forced Piper to three games on Tuesday before losing 26-24, 18-25, 19-25. The Lady Bobcats also lost two games to Santa Fe Trail earlier in the evening to go 0-2 on their home floor.
But Basehor-Linwood fought hard in taking a game against the Lady Pirates. BLHS started out fast and after three service aces by sophomore Michelle Chrisman, led 13-8. Two skillful tips changed the momentum in Piper's favor, though, as the Lady Pirates reeled off an 8-1 run to go up 16-14.
"The key to that is watching the hitters' hands," BLHS coach Kristen Anthony said. "Watching if she's going to go back and swing or if she's going to go up and tip. We've worked on that all week long and so it got better as the night went on."
Anthony called a timeout and settled her team, which then played Piper to a 23-23 standoff and set up an intense finish. When the Lady 'Cats next kill attempt went out of bounds, Piper was one point from victory and Anthony called another timeout.
"I told them that we just need to keep pushing, we just need to get one good pass and get out of this rotation," Anthony said.
The Lady Bobcats got the pass they needed and sophomore Chelsea Patton slammed it through two blockers for a clutch kill. With five kills in the game, Patton was clearly the right player to go to at crunch time.
"Chelsea really stepped it up as a hitter," Anthony said. "She swings really, really hard and when we needed someone to swing hard she was there. So, I'm really proud of her."
Basehor-Linwood stayed even with Piper in the beginning of the second game, before falling behind 7-12. They never could get the lead back. Play got sloppy for both sides as several serves and kill attempts flew wide or into the net.
"We had good passing the first game and we were doing good, but then we just kind of let down," Patton said.
Piper gave the Lady 'Cats opportunities to take control of the final game by muffing a few serves and passes, but they couldn't take advantage. Patton said passing would be a big factor if BLHS was to duplicate its strong showing against Piper, especially in the first game.
"Mainly in practice all we've been working on is passing and I think that really showed tonight," Patton said. "If we give good passes we can make them make bad passes by killing it."
Basehor-Linwood's next action will come in the De Soto tournament on Saturday.