Volleyball coach: Team too young for ranking
Think of it as a regular-season state tournament.
Saturday's Rossville Invitational will feature an eight-team pool that includes four ranked teams and another that is a traditional state team.
Rossville, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, will be the host for the tournament that also includes three teams ranked in 4A -- No. 1 Holton, No. 2 Wamego and No. 5 Tonganoxie.
Also competing are Kansas City Turner, Emporia, Atchison County and Towanda-Circle, a team that was ranked No. 1 in 4A for much of last season.
Tonganoxie will join Holton, Wamego and Turner in one pool, while Rossville, Emporia, Atchison County and Towanda-Circle will be in the other.
Rossville placed third in 3A last season, while Wamego finished second and Holton fourth in 4A.
Tonganoxie will open the tournament against Holton and then play Wamego in its next match.
"We're hoping to come out of this week at .500," THS co-coach Brandon Parker said. "We're capable of going undefeated and we're capable of not going undefeated."
The Chieftains come into the Rossville tournament with that No. 5 state ranking, but Parker said the ranking was premature.
"We're ranked No. 5 and we shouldn't be ranked No. 5," Parker said. "We're too young."
Tonganoxie opened the season at 2-0 last week after defeating Baldwin (25-17, 25-23) and Bonner Springs (28-26, 25-18).
Sami Franiuk had 11 kills on the night, while Ali Pistora had 10. In the assists department, Rachel Bogard led the team with 15 and Pistora had 13. Defensively, Shannon Carlin had eight blocks for the Chieftains.
"We actually did some nice things," Parker said. "We just look like a young team. We do something real nice and then do a couple things real unorthodox. We're just trying to do too much right now.
"It will get there, but we need to start it with a little bit smaller steps."
Tonganoxie had two matches Tuesday in Paola against Paola, De Soto and Central Heights before Saturday's tournament in Rossville. And a week from Saturday, the Chieftains will compete in their own tournament, which includes teams such as Manhattan, Great Bend and Olathe East.
"We'll play them back to back, so we'll have a wide variety of teams," Parker said about the two tournaments. "It will be a good experience as far as a high-level competition at Rossville and then more high-level competition at home."
Saturday's tournament begins at 8 a.m. in Rossville.