Baldwin bullies Chieftain volleyball team
They sport a future D-I collegiate player, were a state team last year and so far are undefeated this season.
They are Baldwin and, unfortunately for Tonganoxie, the Chieftains couldn't rattle the traditionally tough Bulldogs on Thursday in Bonner Springs.
Baldwin gradually pulled away from the Chieftains in game one. THS trailed 3-2 early, but would never come closer. With a 21-8 lead, the Bulldogs earned four straight points for the 25-8 victory.
THS coach Tiffany Parker then had a lively conversation with her team before game two.
The Chieftains responded.
Tonganoxie matched Baldwin point for point early and at one time boasted a 10-8 lead. The Bulldogs erased the deficit and eventually stretched their own lead to 17-11 before the Chieftains went on a 5-0 run. Tonganoxie trailed late 24-22, but BHS notched its final point and won the game, 25-22, for the 2-0 sweep.
Game two was a loss, but the Chieftains played considerably better, according to Parker.
"We finally started to compete," Parker said.
For senior Katie Jeannin, competing meant working as a more relaxed group.
"I think we played really nervous," Jeannin said. "People were real tight."
Ten of the 12 Bulldogs have experience, and the squad includes Emily Brown, who will play at Kansas University next fall.
Tonganoxie's Kelly Breuer did deny one of Brown's kill attempts, giving the Chieftains some extra motivation. But Baldwin was just too strong Thursday.
In the next play, Tonganoxie lined up to block Brown again, but she dinked the ball to the right side for an easy point.
Despite not catching Baldwin, the Chieftains clearly were the No. 2 team at the quadrangular.
THS easily handled Atchison in two games, 25-6, 25-5, in its first match. In the night's final match, Tonganoxie defeated host school Bonner Springs, 25-6, 25-16.
Against Atchison, senior Rebekah Mages had five aces, while Breuer registered five kills. Freshman Ali Pistora had four kills of her own.
"For a freshman, that's pretty good for a first match," Parker said.
Now 2-1, the Chieftains will play some matches at home. On Tuesday, the team played against Paola and De Soto in Tonganoxie and the Chieftains are at home again next Tuesday against Perry-Lecompton and Piper.
As for Baldwin, Breuer is eager for another match against the Bulldogs.
"Baldwin's beatable," Breuer said. "We'll meet again."