Basehor-Linwood volleyball squad snaps 10-year skid against Tongie
The Basehor-Linwood volleyball team snapped a long losing streak to Tonganoxie on Tuesday, and the victory couldn’t have been at a better time for the team’s seniors.
BLHS celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 3-1 victory against Tonganoxie in a match where the Bobcats got stronger as the evening wore on.
Tonganoxie won the first game, 25-23, but Basehor-Linwood won the next three, 25-23, 25-13, 25-14, in the best-of-five match.
Longtime followers of the program said Basehor-Linwood had not defeated Tonganoxie in volleyball since 1998, which made the victory more enjoyable for the players.
“This was the most exciting match that we have had so far this season,” senior Tara Chumley said. “We had never beaten Tonganoxie since we had been in high school. To win against them on Senior Night, we couldn’t be happier.”
In the first game, with the score tied at 23-23, Tonganoxie found ways to win the game. On an almost desperate attempt to keep the ball in play, the Chieftains hit the ball over the net and into the center of the Bobcats’ defense where it dropped in for a point.
Tonganoxie scored the game-winning point when Basehor-Linwood failed to return a serve, winning 25-23.
The score capped a back-and-forth game. Tonganoxie led 9-3 early in the game, and Basehor-Linwood went on a 5-1 rally to make it a 10-8 game.
The two teams traded points and lead changes for most of the game.
Following the loss, the Bobcats said they wanted to win the game, but they didn’t dwell on the loss.
“We stayed positive and got pumped up for the rest of the match,” senior Cassy Bever said.
The second game was also close.
Tonganoxie took a 4-1 lead, but Basehor-Linwood rebounded with consecutive kills from senior Courtney Hooks and Bever. The points started BLHS on a 10-2 run.
Tonganoxie rallied to make it a 16-14 game. The teams exchanged scoring runs and battled to a 23-23 tie.
In this game, though, Basehor-Linwood found ways to make plays and win the match.
Chumley recorded the kill for point 24. Hooks recorded the kill for point 25 that gave BLHS the victory.
Basehor-Linwood controlled the third game. With the score 3-2, BLHS went on a 9-2 run to take a 12-4 advantage. BLHS received kills from numerous players. Tonganoxie struggled to return serves during the Bobcats’ run. They maintained the lead the rest of the game, winning 25-13.
Basehor-Linwood played dominant volleyball in the final game. The Bobcats exploded to a 14-5 lead and cruised to the victory.
“I am really excited for our team,” Basehor coach Tammy Zydlo said. “It has been a long time since BLHS beat Tonganoxie. I am so happy for the seniors. We played so well tonight.”
Hooks led the team with 13 kills Bever recorded eight kills.
The team also blocked well during the match, recording 24 blocks in four games.
“We were on attack all night,” Zydlo said. “When things didn’t go so well, they just kept working, making plays. If things go wrong, we regroup and come back.”
After the match, the players spoke of the continuity they have developed, how Monday night’s pasta dinner helped them play better, genuinely enjoying the moment and earning a potentially pivotal midseason victory.
Before the match, they danced to some top-40 songs as sort of a rallying cry and seemed to spend five minutes just laughing and getting ready to play.
The pregame work carried over into the match.
“We communicated real well and stayed positive the entire time,” Zydlo said.
Senior Night festivities
In addition to defeating Tonganoxie, Chumley, Cheyann Taylor, Hooks, Bever and Taylor Johnson were honored before the match.
Zydlo read comments from the players who thanked friends, coaches and teachers for everything they have done in their high school playing careers.
They recounted a few memories of the past, reminiscing on the good times they spent together.
Following the senior comments, Zydlo said she felt endeared to this class of seniors because they were her first group of players that she has coached for four years.
Then Zydlo introduced Becky Matthews who addressed the team. Matthews, a former coach for the team, spoke about what the girls meant to her. The experience of coaching that team changed her as a coach and teacher.
“I truly believe that I am a better teacher and coach for watching you all grow and mature,” she said. “I wish you success and happiness in the future. I hope you know I will always be here for you when you need me.”
The win completes the Bobcats’ home portion of the schedule. Basehor-Linwood plays Saturday in the De Soto Invitational.
“We have to continue to go about our business and go for a win on Saturday,” Zydlo said. “I would like us to get a win at that tournament.”