BLHS volleyball tops Mill Valley for latest marquee victory
Signature victories continue to pile up for the Basehor-Linwood volleyball team, and Tuesday night’s home victory against Mill Valley may be the biggest of them all.
The Bobcats snapped a long losing streak to the Jaguars by winning the five-game match 3-2 (26-24, 11-25, 21-25, 26-24, 17-15) in thrilling fashion.
Coach Amy Irvin has been with the BLHS program for seven seasons, and this is her first as head coach. During her time at the school she said the program never beat Mill Valley until Tuesday.
With the win, BLHS remains undefeated in Kaw Valley League play and moved a step closer to winning a league title.
“We played amazing,” Irvin said. “We definitely had our down times when we struggled as a team of individuals, but in the end we played together as a team and played hard. I am so extremely proud of them.”
Irvin said she liked how her players handled the pressure in an intense match that was back and forth. Basehor-Linwood gutted out a narrow victory in game one, but Mill Valley responded with vengeance and hammered the Bobcats 25-11 in game two. Mill Valley then held BLHS off 25-21 to come within a game of winning the match.
Mill Valley nearly finished off the match in game four, but the Bobcats constantly scrapped for points and rallied together as a group before ultimately squeaking out a 26-24 victory.
Game five took on similar form.
“The girls knew it was to 15, and they had to play the 15 quick,” Irvin said. “Even after losing games two and three, I told the girls that we had to win the last two and it was going to be hard. I told them they had to believe in themselves and asked how much they wanted to be undefeated in league. They wanted it.”
The final game needed extra points before BLHS secured the 17-15 victory and won the match.
“We are one step closer to our ultimate goal — winning league,” Irvin said.
Defeating Mill Valley is another sign that the Bobcats are playing the way Irvin expects them to perform.
Cara McCarty, Brandi Stahl and Sam Rutherford each recorded 10 kills in the match. Jamie Johnson finished with nine kills. McCarty added four aces.
“We focused on having a threatening offense and we did just that,” Irvin said. “We really focused on quick sets and a strong offense at practice on Monday and we knew that we had to come through.”
McCarty led the defense with 14 blocks. Rutherford and Haley Waters each had eight digs.
SIXTH AT LOUISBURG
For as good as defeating perennial KVL power must feel, the Bobcats struggled in the Louisburg Invitational on Saturday.
BLHS finished in sixth place with wins over Anderson County and Fort Scott. The team lost to Blue Valley North, Olathe Northwest and Santa Fe Trail.
“We played really well against Fort Scott and almost beat Blue Valley North,” Irvin said.
In general, the tournament was a disappointing performance for the Bobcats.
“We did not play well. We had some mental shut downs,” she said. “It was a big weekend, being homecoming and some other things. We missed 27 serves and had 43 hitting errors. You cannot play well in a tournament playing with numbers like that.
“It was a disappointing tourney outcome. We are better than that and everyone knows it. Every great team has their bad games.”