Fort Scott High had trouble with Coffeyville -- which only gained its first two wins of the season last Saturday -- before finally putting the Golden Tornado away in two games, 25-17, 25-19 in the middle match of a Southeast Kansas League triangular at the FSHS gymnasium Thursday night. This was after Parsons had relatively little problem with taking care of Coffeyville, 25-12, 25-14.
In the finale, the Tigers (2-0 SEK, 13-7 overall) swept a much-improved Viking team, 25-17, 25-21.
When the Tigers took the floor for the first time, the Nado (0-2, 2-8) had already played about 40 minutes of volleyball and that may have helped them early on. They went out to an 8-4 lead and were up 12-6 as they controlled the tempo.
"It was a slow-paced match," Fort Scott head coach Carol Bingesser said. "We like to pick it up but we couldn't get them to play with us. They did a good job of controlling the tempo."
Fort Scott began to rally as a Sammi Therwhanger kill gave the Tigers a point and serve. Then Therwhanger served an ace, which got FSHS going on a 7-point run that saw them take a 15-13 lead. They never trailed in that game again although Coffeyville remained pesky for a while, staying within 20-17 before Marliss Allen took over to serve out the game, which ended on a Jenna Campbell kill.
The Tornado continued to keep the pace where they like it in the second game. Fort Scott held a 10-5 lead but Coffeyville came back to tie it 10-10 and again at 11-11.
Mallory Shelton's kill started a four-point run for the Tigers. But Coffeyville was still within 17-15 before Therwhanger got a kill which started a 8-4 run to end the match.
Therwhanger and Shelton each had 8 kills in the match as most of the Tigers success came through the middle. Libby Halsey dished 14 assists while Shelton had 3 blocks. Campbell served 3 aces and Therwhanger 2.
"The key to that match was how Mallory and Sammi played," Bingesser said. "Sammi just read the floor so well. And Mallory, if we can get her a good set every time, she's going to get a good kill. I thought they both played really well."
The Tigers never trailed in the first game of the match against Parsons (1-1, 11-6). A few kills from the middle and better serving helped get the Tigers out to an 11-6 lead.
Parsons got within 11-8 before a Shelton kill gave the Tigers serve. Then Megan McDermed began to step up on the outside with her hitting and gave the Tigers more options in getting the ball on the floor. It wasn't long before the lead was increased to 18-10.
McDermed's kill off a ball Parsons failed to put any power on got the Tigers going on a 4-2 run that finished off the first game.
Parsons was a but tougher i the second game, taking a 9-5 lead. But McDermed continued to step up and two straight kills tied the game at 9-9.
Parsons scored the next two points. But McDermed found the floor again to spark the Tigers on an 11-3 spurt that saw them go up 20-14.
The Vikings rallied and got within 20-18 before making a key error that returned serve to the Tigers. Things went back and forth for a bit before Halsey knocked back a Parsons free ball for the final point of the match.
McDermed had 8 kills for the Tigers in the Parsons match after recording just 1 against Coffeyville. Shelton added 7 kills and Therwhanger 4.
"Parsons played a little quicker, faster-paced game, which helped us out," Bingesser said. "And Megan stepped up, too, so we didn't have to rely and Sammi and Mallory getting everything. Megan was getting some good kills from the outside."
Halsey dished 16 assists for the Tigers. Shelton had 5 blocks. Therwhanger served 3 aces and Halsey 2.
"We really had some good serving against Parsons," Bingesser said. "Against Coffeyville, there were a few times when someone who normally serves well for us went one and out. We had several serving errors against Coffeyville."
The Tigers will head to Louisburg Saturday for a tough eight-team tournament. In pool play, Fort Scott will face Basehor-Linwood at 9 a.m., Anderson County at 10 and Louisburg at noon.