Bobcats prepare for Lansing
Volleyball coach Tammy Zydlo was doing everything she could to get the Bobcats ready for Saturday's Lansing Tournament. The team was working on passing, zone serving and blocking.
Zydlo, a former KU volleyball player, jumped into practice this week with the team, as she frequently does. This time, the coach injured her ankle.
"I love playing against the girls, so I am so bummed," Zydlo said. "They love when I play, because it pumps them up."
Despite the injury, the team is preparing for what could be a defining day early in the season. Lansing's tournament features big schools and skilled teams including: Olathe Northwest, DeSoto, Sabetha, Lansing, Shawnee Mission North, Shawnee Mission West, Louisburg, Piper and Spring Hill.
The Bobcats will play in a pool with Lansing, Louisburg, Sabetha and Shawnee Mission North.
"This is obviously a very strong tournament for us to compete in," Zydlo said. "It will be one of the strongest tournaments of the year."
Zydlo said she is excited to face new competition.
"When we are facing teams that we haven't played before I think it is nice, after we play, to watch patterns or habits of certain teams," Zydlo said. "I always tell the girls you have to start with a clean slate; we have to see what they give us and make adjustments."
The team is guaranteed at least five matches during the tournament.
"Tournaments are just instrumental, being able to see different competition and different teams than you will see," Zydlo said. "It is great to be able to play teams that play a different style. I like having this tournament at the beginning of the year because we will see what we have to work on."
Zydlo also said having two Kaw Valley League teams in the field will allow the team to dissect strengths and weaknesses of future opponents.
BLHS is currently 2-1. Even in the loss, Zydlo could see positive signs.
"In the Eudora game, we were down 1-6 in the third game, and the one thing I noticed, and several people noticed this, our players looked confident," Zydlo said. "In the past, if we were losing, we would start to wilt. It takes mental strength to look confident on the court in that situation. It wasn't like the team took a nosedive. We tied them, and then traded points back and froth. They ended up winning, but it could have gone either way."
Cassie Lombardino and Chelsey Patton have started quickly. Lombardino has 30 kills so far on the season and Patton has 15.
"Chelsey is a really good all-around player," Zydlo said. "We rely on Cassie a lot in the front row. She is hitting much harder and more consistently."
Zydlo said other players played well during the Aug. 28 match against Eudora, Baldwin and Bonner Springs.
"Michelle Chrisman played good in the front row and back row," Zydlo said. "She kept the ball going. She kept it playable. Brooke Sanders did an awesome job moving the ball around."