Chieftain volleyball struggles at Baldwin
Baldwin City A brief, non-league road trip came to a painful end for the Tonganoxie High volleyball team Thursday, as the Chieftains fell to Frontier League opponent Baldwin in straight sets, 25-15, 25-6, 25-12.
Two days removed from a five-set loss at Atchison, THS (1-3) couldn't combat the side of the Bulldogs (9-1), who have four varsity players listed at 5-foot-10 or taller.
"They're a great, skilled team and they have a lot of experience on their side," coach Tiffany Parker said of BHS. "We can match up all we want, but when they're hitting over the top of our blocks, there's not a whole lot we can do."
THS hung with the Bulldogs early on and trailed by just two points midway through the first set, 15-13, but BHS, which hasn't dropped a set since a season-opening loss to Basehor-Linwood, grabbed the momentum and a 1-0 lead with a set-ending 10-2 run.
The late Baldwin surge carried over into the second set, in which the Chieftains scored consecutive points just once.
Parker's squad regained its composure and played the Bulldogs even early in the third set, but BHS broke open a 4-4 tie with a 7-1 run and gradually pulled away to cap off the sweep.
"That's what I'm proud of our team for is we don't quit," Parker said. "It may be hard at times, but we have great kids on our team with great character, and it's kind of in them to never give up."
Senior libero Marissa Martin recorded double-digit digs for the fourth time in as many matches this season. Following the match, Parker lauded Martin and fellow senior Morgan Oroke for maintaining a positive attitude despite the lopsided score.
Before the varsity match, the Chieftain junior varsity squad downed Baldwin in three sets to improve to 11-0 on the season.
THS will return to its own gym for a pair of home duals next week. The Chieftains will host Kaw Valley League foe Basehor-Linwood on Tuesday, then welcome Pleasant Ridge to town Thursday. The freshman teams will start both matches off at 4 p.m.