THS volleyball opens season today at Turner, looks to improve with experienced squad
Tonganoxie High last made a state volleyball appearance in 2007 and has had its share of success in Tiffany Parker’s tenure, which started in 2001.
In recent years, though, the Chieftains have finished with overall records below .500.
Parker hopes this year’s campaign will end with an improved record as she welcomes back seven seniors for their final season.
Cheyenne Ford, Halley Calovich, Lauren Jackson, Emily Eberth, Kaitlin Hall and Kassie Gratton all return for a final season with THS.
It’s a large senior class returning to lead the Chieftains, who lost just two players — Summer Cerny and Jessica Minear — to graduation last year.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Parker said.
Ford said the team meshed well in its preseason practices.
“I think we definitely worked together very well,” Ford said.
The senior middle hitter said the squad’s defense has been its strength in the opening weeks of practice.
“We have great defensive players in the back row,” she said.
With such a large senior class and plenty of other returners, Parker hopes the team can see some of that experience in recent years pay off for her team as this season progresses.
The Chieftains opened the season Tuesday against Turner in Kansas City, Kan., and welcome Eudora to town for the home opener at 6 p.m. Thursday. Next Tuesday, the squad is off to Atchison for another road match before traveling Sept. 10 to Baldwin.
Tonganoxie’s first tournament of the season starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 12 with an invitational at Highland Park in Topeka.
Other tournaments are Sept. 19 at Rossville, the home invitational Sept. 26, Oct. 3 at Lansing and Oct. 10 at De Soto.
Substate is set for Oct. 24 and the Class 4A Division I state tournament will be Oct. 30 and 31 in Salina.
Ford said the squad was looking forward to getting on the court, especially against rival Basehor-Linwood and the rest of the Kaw Valley League.
The goal, of course, is to finish the season with a state appearance. Ford also said she’s looking to “end with a good record,” she said.