BLHS volleyball takes 6th at Lansing Invitational
Basehor-Linwood improved its overall place in the Lansing Invitational on Saturday.
After failing to place in last year’s tournament, the Bobcats placed sixth in a tournament that routinely features top programs in Class 6A, Class 5A and Class 4A.
Placing is a sign of progress for the team, and coach Tammy Zydlo said she wants her squad to continue working on playing consistent volleyball, improving communication and continuing to serve the ball tough.
“I believe in our ability and athleticism, and I've seen some really great play at the beginning of the season,” she said.
Lansing won the tournament title by beating Olathe Northwest in the finals. De Soto placed third and Spring Hill took fourth. BLHS lost to Louisburg in the fifth-place match.
Piper finished seventh and Shawnee Mission West was eighth. Sabetha and Shawnee Mission North did not advance to bracket play.
The Bobcats finished 1-3 in pool play and then entered the consolation bracket with a match against Piper.
Basehor-Linwood lost the first game 25-16. Missed serves played a critical role in the game. The missed serves shifted momentum to Piper and made it difficult for BLHS to get rolling on offense.
BLHS improved its performance in the final two games and won them both.
“The turning point for us was that we stopped missing our serves and we started to communicate better as a team because we really had to move to get to the tips,” Zydlo said. “I'm very proud of the girls for staying composed in the second and third sets. Piper tipped a lot, and we did a good job of getting to the ball. Piper played a really good game defensively, which shows in our ‘attempt’ stats.”
Basehor-Linwood hitters had 60 attempts and a total of 20 kills in the match. Samantha Rutherford led the team with six kills and Brandi Stahl and Courtney Poe each had four kills.
“I thought Sam Rutherford did a great job of hitting the quick sets that Macyn (Sanders) set to her, and that made a big difference for us,” Zydlo said. “But really, it was a team effort with everyone having to work hard to pick up the tips.”
Following the victory against Piper, Basehor-Linwood lost to Louisburg in the fifth-place match, 25-12, 25-16.
The Bobcats played a little flat in the match, which was the team’s sixth of the day. Basehor-Linwood did not record an ace in the match and had just three blocks.
Shelby Equels led the team with six kills and sophomore Jamie Johnson had three kills.
Basehor-Linwood finished pool play with a 1-3 record.
Basehor-Linwood lost to Olathe Northwest in the first round, 25-13, 25-13. The Ravens — ranked No. 3 in the Class 6A state poll — had a major size advantage with four players standing at least 6 feet tall.
Rutherford led the team with four kills in the match. Stahl and Poe each added three kills. The team also had five aces.
In the next match, Basehor-Linwood lost to De Soto in three games, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23. Serving was critical to the team’s first game.
“We totally took them out of their offensive game which was huge in getting that win in the first set,” Zydlo said. “We worked really hard, but we had a few mistakes at critical times.”
The mistakes cost Basehor-Linwood in the second and third games.
“All in all though, our communication and passing improved, as did our percentage of kills,” Zydlo said.
Rutherford led the Bobcats with eight kills. Poe, Sanders and Equels each had two aces. Sydne Eriksen led the team with three blocks.
Basehor-Linwood earned its only win of pool play against Shawnee Mission North, winning 25-21, 25-17.
“The North game was a good win for us,” Zydlo said. “We had a really good blocking game with Cara McCarty leading all players with one double block and two single blocks.”
Louisburg defeated Basehor-Linwood in the final match of pool play, 25-12, 25-16.
“In the Louisburg game, we played really flat,” Zydlo said. “They had a really nice offensive game and had three really good hitters.”
Stahl led the Bobcats with five kills.
Basehor-Linwood plays host to Bishop Ward and Piper on Tuesday. The Bobcats then return to the court Sept. 25 at the Louisburg Invitational.
“We'll have plenty of time to work on our game and the possibility of changing the lineup,” Zydlo said.
Thursday night play
Basehor-Linwood split two matches on Thursday at Mill Valley High School.
The Bobcats lost the first match to Mill Valley, 25-16, 25-16.
“We started out the match playing really well and blocking great, but unfortunately, when Mill Valley started getting some points, we lost the energy and focus,” Zydlo said. “The girls didn't play with much emotion or passion. We really played flat and unfortunately, when playing a team like Mill Valley, you have to be at the top of your game to stop them offensively.”
Poe led the Bobcats with four kills and McCarty had three kills. McCarty also led the team with two double blocks and one single block.
In the next match, Basehor-Linwood defeated Maranatha Academy in three games, 20-25, 25-19, 25-15.
After losing the first game, Basehor-Linwood served the ball a lot better in the next game. The Bobcats also played better on offense. In the match, the Bobcats had 29 kills and five aces.
“Unfortunately, we came out the first set playing a lot like we did against Mill Valley. We were really flat,” Zydlo said. “We didn't communicate well at all. Our passing wasn't quite as good as we ended up giving them a lot of free balls and we didn't convert all the free balls we received to kills. But, we pulled it together for the second and third sets to get the win.”
Stahl led the team with eight kills and McCarty had six kills. Haley Waters had four kills.
Poe had a nice serving run and ended the match with two aces. Equels and McCarty each had two blocks.
“I'm proud of the girls for coming back from a loss in the first set to win the next two sets,” Zydlo said. “It wasn't a very pretty win, but it's a win and we'll take it.”