Tonganoxie takes 3rd at De Soto Spikefest
Tonganoxie High went 3-3 Saturday at the De Soto Spikefest, and took third place.
Spring Hill, L 13-25, 25-21, 25-23
Jeff West, L 25-18, 15-25, 25-13
Baldwin, W 25-19, 25-13
Basehor-Linwood, W 25-20, 27-25
Lansing, L 25-17, 25-17
Basehor-Linwood, W 25-19, 25-15
It’s not too often a team can go .500 at a volleyball tournament and take third place, but that’s exactly what Tonganoxie High did on Saturday at the De Soto Spikefest.
The Chieftains went 3-3 at the tournament, overall, and beat Basehor-Linwood in the third-place match despite going just 2-2 in pool play.
THS (22-10) got a break because there was a rare five-way tie in its pool. Tonganoxie secured the No. 1 spot because it had won the highest percentage of games, going 6-4 in its four matches against the rest of the pool.
It turned out to be a pretty successful day for the Chieftains, who got off to a slow start with losses in their first two matches against Spring Hill (a 13-25, 25-21, 25-23 loss) and Jeff West (a 25-18, 15-25, 25-13 setback).
Co-coach Brandon Parker said the team’s inconsistency led to its 0-2 start in pool play.
“You can see that in the scores,” he said, “when you beat somebody pretty good, and then don’t follow that up with another win.”
However, THS got on track in its final two pool matches against Baldwin and Basehor-Linwood, sweeping both teams, and was able to salvage its day.
Tonganoxie had played both of those opponents earlier this season, and because it had lost at home to BLHS in Kaw Valley League dual play back on Sept. 13, Parker said the players probably were more fired up for that match.
“They got our attention at home,” he said. “Naturally, our girls are ready to come out for that and play, which is what I’m hoping for.”
Junior Jenny Whitledge found a lot of success in that match, totaling 11 digs, eight kills and three blocks. Senior Kailan Kuzmic had six kills and six digs and senior Brooklyn Kerbaugh went for seven blocks and five kills, while Sagan Scates passed out 12 assists.
That payback scenario didn’t work out for the Chieftains, however, when they faced eventual tournament champion Lansing in a semifinal. The Lions, who won at Tonganoxie on Sept. 27, swept THS.
“For whatever reason we just never established a rhythm in that match,” Parker said. “Our energy didn’t match theirs, and we were kind of disappointed in that.”
Still, Tonganoxie was able to beat the Bobcats for the second time Saturday in the tournament’s third-place match. Scates led the team with 23 assists as Whitledge went for 14 kills and Kuzmic had six kills of her own to go with a team-best four digs against BLHS.
Overall, Parker said Tonganoxie needs to be more consistent, but he was pleased the team recovered from its 0-2 start at De Soto.
“We started off that way, and then got better,” the co-coach said, “so I look at the positive side.”
Beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, the Chieftains have a home triangular and will face Perry-Lecompton and (once again) Basehor-Linwood.