Rebuilding BSHS volleyball team shows flashes of promise
Bonner Springs volleyball coach Jan Madlock has been through rebuilding years before, but the circumstances were far from similar.
When she coached at Blue Valley Northwest, she inherited a team of Division I athletes who won the state title. When they graduated, it was easy for Madlock to apply the school’s winning tradition to help the players come along. Some had seen postseason action and knew what to expect.
But in her first year at Bonner Springs, Madlock has to create success on her own. Over the course of this season, the 5-10 Braves are finding their way while showing flashes of what could be. They can serve, block and volley, but not consistently.
“We can play with absolutely anybody if we can put some of those moments together,” Madlock said.
Bonner Springs defeated Piper on Tuesday in four sets (13-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-23) with seniors Haley Hoffine and Jene Williams serving as the team’s leading hitters. Madlock also said freshman Alazia Stanley had her best match of the season setting and hitting, while Mikaela Bennett led the team in blocks.
The victory helped the Braves overcome a winless weekend. Bonner Springs played at the Baldwin invitational on Saturday, losing its matches against Leavenworth, Blue Valley Southwest and Paola. Still, the Braves continued to show improvement, Madlock said, playing with more intensity and fighting on every point.
This may be a situation where the Braves will start competing with some of the top teams a couple of years down the road, but that doesn’t make this year any less intriguing. Madlock said that some of her players continue to surprise her, namely Hoffine. Hoffine doesn’t play volleyball year-round like many of her peers, yet she can hang with just about anyone on the court.
And looking ahead, Madlock said, freshmen Julianne Jackson and Stanley will be fixtures on this team. They are going to get all of the experience this year that the coaches can give them. A good gauge for Bonner Springs will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday when it gets a rematch with BV Southwest in a quad meet with Spring Hill and Gardner-Edgerton at BV Southwest.