Alex fitzmorris-Sorn
Varsity volleyball coach
Varsity traveled to Baldwin High for the Baldwin Invitational Sep. 8. The Blazers started out strong, handling their opponents with ease during pool play. The Blazers finished first in their pool, defeating Paola (25-13, 25-15), Wellsville (25-11, 25-9), and Bonner Springs (25-19, 25-11).
Moving into bracket play, the Blazers faced a very familiar opponent: #1 in 4A Hayden. The varsity squads had made it to the championship matches in 2016 and 2017, only to fall to Hayden in the finals. This year, the Blazers took down Hayden with set scores of 25-21, 23-25, 25-21. It was a tough, emotional match but the Blazers dug in and prevailed in the end. It was a strong offensive effort backed by solid defense and serve receive passing. Kyla Shappell led the team with 16 kills, Gabbie Bishop added 10 kills, Morgan McIntire put down nine, and Kendra Wait added eight kills on the match.
Immediately following that semifinal match, the Blazers faced Blue Valley Southwest in the finals. BVSW was rested and ready to go after winning their semifinal with ease, and the Blazers eventually fell to SW with set scores of 25-18, 20-25, 27-29. It was a true barn burner, with every other team gone for the day but the Blazers still battling to the absolute finish against a very scrappy and physical BVSW squad. Offensively, Kyla Shappell led the Blazers with 13 kills, followed by Morgan McIntire with 8. Defensively, Gabbie Bishop had five blocks on the match. Kendra Wait picked up 17 digs, Morgan McIntire added 11, and Erin Michael contributed 10. The Blazers will have the opportunity to play a rematch with BVSW, facing them again on Oct. 11 at GEHS.