Lady Bobcats drop matches vs. Santa Fe Trail, Piper
An improbable comeback fell just short for the Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball team Tuesday, forcing them to leave a triangular at Piper with an 0-2 record.
After losing the first game to the Lady Pirates, the Lady Bobcats fell behind 23-12 in Game 2 before storming back, winning the next 10 points to draw within a point at 23-22. The Bobcats' run completely changed the complexion of the match.
Michelle Chrisman served during the run and her placement was key, as was the play of Cassie Lombardino, who made two blocks in a row for points 14 and 15, giving her team a big lift.
"I think the blocking is the big thing for us," BHS coach Tammy Zydlo said. "We had a couple blocks and it really changed the momentum."
Still, the 10-point swing came just a bit too late for the Lady Bobcats. Piper won the second game 25-23 when the Lady Pirates' final kill attempt appeared to sail too far, but was called in by the line judge.
The final game was the closest of the day for the Lady 'Cats, but their best performance might have come in their first game, a 25-18 loss to Santa Fe Trail.
As of Sept. 25 the Lady Chargers were 10-2 and ranked second in the state in Class 4A.
The Bobcats were playing without injured setter Brooke Sanders and, on paper, appeared to be heavy underdogs.
After falling behind 16-4 early, BLHS made a run at the Lady Chargers.
The Lady 'Cats got one kill from Kara Douglas and two from Lombardino, both off sets from Sanders' sophomore replacement, Amber Jeannin.
Douglas' kill started a 6-1 run that got her team back into the game at 17-10. Santa Fe Trail pushed its lead out to 20-10 before it had to weather another run from BLHS.
The Lady Bobcats got three kills from their big hitters, Lombradino and Chelsey Patton, and service aces from Jeannin and Lindsey Kraemer to cut the lead to 22-17.
At that point one of Santa Fe Trail's star players rose up and hit a thunderous kill from the back row to swing the momentum in her team's favor for good.
After fighting hard in their first game the Lady Bobcats wilted in their second, losing to SFT 25-12.
The Piper gym wasn't air-conditioned and 90-plus degree temperatures outside combined with the cramped and crowded space made for a stiflingly humid environment. It seemed to sap the Lady Bobcats of the energy they needed to compete with a team like SFT.
"It certainly was very warm, but we've got to look at it this way: the other team is playing under the same conditions," Zydlo said. "We can't use that as an excuse."
After their second loss to SFT, the Bobcats dropped their first game to Piper 20-25, setting up the valiant, do-or-die comeback in Game 2.
Sanders has a sprained wrist, but is expected to be able to play in the Lady 'Cats' next varsity action, a tournament at De Soto starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. BLHS will also play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lansing in a triangular with Lansing and Perry-Lecompton.