Fast start in fifth game helps Basehor-Linwood edge Bonner Springs
Basehor-Linwood volleyball coach Amy Irvin huddled with her players Tuesday night as the fifth game against Bonner Springs was about to start.
Start fast, she told them.
“Games to 15 come pretty fast,” Irvin instructed. “Just stay focused and go out and play your game.”
It was good advice for the Bobcats.
Basehor-Linwood was mired in an early-season tussle against rival Bonner Springs. The two squads had split the first four games. Basehor-Linwood won the first, 25-14, before Bonner Springs claimed the second, 25-22. The Bobcats responded by winning the third game, 25-21, but the series seesawed back when the Braves earned a 25-17 victory in game four.
In the first four games, both teams traded turns starting fast and riding momentum to victories. Both ran their offenses well during spurts, but then struggled at times with lapses in serving and returning the ball on defense.
Now, the Bobcats were about to play the final game and ready to take Irvin’s advice.
Sophomore Hailey Robinson led the Bobcats to four consecutive points from the serve line too open the decisive game. She scored an ace and junior Brandi Stahl recorded back-to-back kills.
Trailing 4-0, Bonner Springs answered with a kill from Haley Hoffine.
Stahl recorded another point, giving Basehor-Linwood a 5-1 lead.
Basehor-Linwood built an 8-3 lead and forced Bonner Springs to call a timeout. The Bobcats were getting good blocking and coverage in the back line.
Out of the break, Stahl served and the Bobcats scored consecutive points to take a 10-4 lead. The two teams traded points the rest of the game. Basehor-Linwood secured the victory when Stahl recorded another kill that gave the Bobcats a 15-7 victory.
“We didn’t play our best, but at the end of the night we wanted it more,” Irvin said. “I told our players there are going to be games like this where you don’t play perfect, but you have to get through it.”
The decisive fifth game was the Bobcats’ best of the night, Irvin said.
One key to the victory was their ability to serve consistently. They limited their missed serves in the later games of the match.
Irvin said Haley Waters stood out on defense. Playing the libero position, Waters was able to dig out a lot of balls and help the Bobcats reset the offense.
BLHS is now 4-2 this season.
Match play losses for BLHS
Basehor-Linwood struggled in match play Thursday with losses to Ottawa and St. Mary’s.
Basehor-Linwood trailed by 12 points in the first game to Ottawa before rallying to win 31-29. Ottawa responded by winning the next two games, 25-20 and 25-21.
Irvin said BLHS played well against Ottawa, but the match just did not go the Bobcats’ way.
BLHS lost to St. Mary’s in three games, 25-20, 21-25, 26-24.
Being defeated by St. Mary’s was disappointing — Irvin said it was a match BLHS should have won.
In general, she is excited about the progress her team is making this season.
“I love the girls and it is a great group to work with,” she said. “They are willing to do whatever we ask.”
The Bobcats have a busy three days upcoming. BLHS plays a pair of matches Thursday at Mill Valley. BLHS also will compete Saturday at the Lansing Invitational.
Up next for Bonner
Bonner Springs — which beat Bishop Ward (25-16, 25-14) and Christ Prep (25-12, 25-14) and lost to Louisburg (25-23, 25-20) on Thursday — will put its 2-5 record on the line at 5 p.m. today at home against Immaculata, Turner and Washington, and then compete again at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Baldwin Tournament.