Volleyball wins at De Soto, but misses finals
Tonganoxie assembled a winning record at the De Soto Tournament on Saturday, but a tournament rule didn't allow the Chieftains to get past pool play.
A nine-team tournament started as one large pool. Every team played five matches, and Tonganoxie, along with two other schools, finished 3-2. Baldwin and Osawatomie went 5-0, and the top four teams went on to a tournament.
Tonganoxie defeated Iola and Basehor-Linwood, but those teams didn't play each other, so defensive points were used to determine who advanced. Iola and Basehor-Linwood advanced, and Tonganoxie went home.
THS coach Tiffany Parker said the team should have been in the tournament after playing tougher opponents, including Baldwin and Osawatomie. Still, she said her team could have performed better.
"We played and beat teams we were supposed to," Parker said. "We did not come out and compete with Baldwin or Osawatomie. We weren't physically outmatched, we just didn't put our heart into it."
Tonganoxie couldn't handle Baldwin. The Bulldogs won quickly 15-2, 15-0. Osawatomie took care of THS in similar fashion, winning 15-1, 15-1.
Parker was pleased with two players' performances despite the major defeats.
"Vanessa Wardy and Kerilynn Walker played well," Parker said. "They were positive the entire day. That's hard to do when you're getting beat, 2-15, 0-15."
The Chieftains did finish the day with a winning record, defeating Basehor-Linwood (15-9,15-9), Iola (16-14, 15-6) and Kansas City Christian (15-1,15-13).
Those matches came after Tonganoxie dropped a triangular at home Oct. 2. The Chieftains lost to Mill Valley and Lansing.
"We did not play well," Parker said about the Mill Valley match. "We did not come out and compete at all."
The Jaguars won 15-4, 12-15, 15-8. THS then faced Lansing and lost 15-8, 15-10. The Lions were led by junior and Kansas recruit Natalie Uhart.
"They have a couple girls who are really good, and they just kind of play around them, and rightfully so," Parker said.
For the Chieftains, though, a blue-chip player isn't available.
"It's frustrating when the team doesn't come out and compete," Parker said. "They're learning they have to compete and work as a team. We don't have the Natalie Uharts of the world. We have great team members."
Tonganoxie, now 12-12, will make up matches originally scheduled for Sept. 11 at De Soto against the Wildcats and Paola. The games come after Senior Night on Tuesday at Tonganoxie.
The team wraps up the regular season at a quadrangular next Tuesday at Topeka High. Free State and Blue Valley West also will participate. Tonganoxie almost defeated West at the Ottawa Tournament in Sept. 29. Free State is also a winnable match, Parker said.
"We can compete with and actually win against Free State," Parker said. "It should be a good match."
Keepin' up with KC
The junior varsity continued its impressive season with a third-place finish at the Blue Valley North Tournament. The Chieftains fared well against predominately 6A schools and nationally ranked Kansas City Metro teams.
THS defeated Blue Valley (15-5, 15-8), Paola (15-11, 15-8) and Park Hill (Mo.) 15-8, 13-15 in pool play. total points in two games decided the game against Park Hill. The Chieftains then defeated St. Theresa's (Mo.) 15-5, 5-15, 15-13 before losing to St. Thomas Aquinas 15-5, 15-0.
Junior varsity coach Brandon Parker saw excitement in his team during the tournament.
"They were fired up," Parker said. "That's the best competition you'll find."