Loaded field will invade Tonganoxie for tourney
When the defending state champion in the state's largest class has an invitation to your invitational, you know it will be a tough tournament.
When nine of the 12 teams in the tourney are boasting a winning record, you can bet it's going to be a doozy.
Manhattan, last year's Class 6A state champ, again will be at this year's Tonganoxie Invitational.
The Indians have a winning record coming into Saturday's volleyball tournament, as do Great Bend, Olathe East, Eudora, Tonganoxie, Bishop Ward, Gardner-Edgerton and Piper.
Perry-Lecompton, Basehor-Linwood and Bonner Springs are the only teams under .500 at the tournament.
"If you're not ready to play, you're done," said THS co-coach Brandon Parker. "Since we've been here this is the most-balanced tournament."
The tournament again will have plenty of variety.
Manhattan and Olathe East are 6A schools, while Great Bend, Gardner-Edgerton and Ottawa are 5A. The rest of the teams in the 12-team field are 4A programs.
The invitational will consist of two pools -- the Red Pool and the Gold Pool. The top three teams in each pool will advance to a single-elimination tournament. The top team in each pool will receive a first-round bye in the tourney.
The tournament begins at 8 a.m. Pool play likely will finish up around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. Parker said with such balance in the tournament its probable many matches will go to three games.
Last year, Olathe East downed Tonganoxie in the tournament championship. Manhattan defeated Great Bend in the consolation match.