BLHS volleyball savors strong start
First-year Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball coach Amy Irvin had high expectations for her team’s first outing of the season Tuesday.
Her team took those expectations and raised the bar another level.
The Bobcats posted a 3-0 record for the night as they beat rival Bonner Springs 25-19, 25-23 in the first match, then disposed of Baldwin 25-23, 25-22, before closing out the evening with a 25-21, 25-20 victory against Eudora.
“I am completely beyond satisfied,” Irvin said of her squad’s inaugural performance. “The energy they had and the drive to win was amazing. This team truly has something special. The most impressive thing for me was their teamwork and their ability to pull themselves out of tough situations. There were some amazing plays that pulled us through. The girls played their hearts out and played with so much energy, it was unbelievable.
“Another impressive thing is that the girls did not tire. We have conditioned a lot this preseason, and it definitely showed (Thursday) night.”
The Bobcats won almost every long volley during each of the three matches, using hustle plays to keep points alive, well-timed blocks to thwart opponents’ hits, and aggressive serving to put opponents on their heels.
Irvin praised Sydne Eriksen, Jamie Johnson, Allison Heinen, Brandi Stahl, Cara McCarty and Sam Rutherford for their precision on the attack while setter Hailey Robinson quarterbacked a balanced offense.
Defensively, Irvin saw plenty to like from Olivia Cowan and Haley Waters.
“All together, we are a really strong team that I have complete confidence in,” Irvin said.
Irvin noted that the Bobcats still need to improve on covering their hitters, and she’d like to see her team finish its scoring opportunities sooner.
“I have stressed this season that we need to put the ball on the floor with the first chance we are given,” Irvin said. “The long rallies are very tiring, and the quicker we can put the ball down the better. The girls have really been working on this, but I will continue to stress it throughout the season.”
Overall, Irvin saw plenty of positives during the Bobcats’ first outing of the season — from the offense, to the defense, to the victories in every match. It’s something to build on, and Irvin hopes her team can capitalize on the early momentum.
“Those wins and to be 3-0 as my first season as head coach is very encouraging,” Irvin said. “This team has something that no other team has had in a long time. We are truly out there to win, and we will work hard and do anything possible to get us there. This team will continue to amaze me with their successes. I cannot wait to see what we can do this season.”