Bobcats could be short-handed at always-tough Lansing Invite.
The Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball team will be without two of its biggest hitters on Saturday during the Lansing Invitational.
Cassie Bever and Courtney Hooks are expected to miss part or all of the tournament on Saturday because they plan to take college entrance exams.
The players' absence leaves a void in Basehor-Linwood's attack. They combined for 31 kills in the season-opening quadrangular at Bonner Springs last week.
"They both played so well," coach Tammy Zydlo said.
Bever and Hooks are leaders on the volleyball team. In addition to being top hitters, they are complete volleyball players.
"They serve well and pass well, which is hard to replace," Zydlo said.
She is planning lineup changes, but hasn't determined what junior varsity players will play in the tournament.
"The junior varsity players that I am going to have filling in are eager players. They could contribute and make an impact on the team," Zydlo said.
Hooks and Bever could be able to play in the afternoon portion of the tournament, which begins with a pool play match at 9 a.m. against Shawnee Mission North.
The Bobcats' other pool matches are against Sabetha, Louisburg and Shawnee Mission West.
Following pool play, the top two teams from each pool will play in the championship bracket of the tournament. The other teams will play in the lower portion of the bracket. The other teams in the tournament field are De Soto, Lansing, Piper, Olathe Northwest, and Spring Hill.
Lansing is a traditional power and will be playing without Brittany Lang, a top hitter from last season who has chosen not to play this year. Regardless, the Lions should be a strong team this season.
"They have a lot of players that can contribute," Zydlo said. "I think they will still be fine."
The tournament field also features three 6A schools: Olathe Northwest, Shawnee Mission North and Shawnee Mission West. Basehor-Linwood is looking forward to the challenge of playing against those schools.
"The competition is so good," Zydlo said. "It could definitely give us confidence for the rest of the season to play well in this tournament."
Zydlo is like a lot of coaches early in the season, trying to get her players to see and believe in the vision she has for them.
During last week's quadrangular at Bonner Springs High School, players were making kills and passing the ball well to set up the offense.
They played strong defense. The play was some of the best volleyball that Zydlo has seen in a while at Basehor-Linwood.
The team watched film of last week's play at Bonner Springs and saw some good things from the matches to build upon. Entering the Lansing tournament, Zydlo said she hopes they continue to build on them.
"They have so much potential, and I am not sure they are aware of it yet," she said.
The tournament begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. Basehor-Linwood will compete in the Lansing Middle School gymnasium.