PITTSBURG -- Last season, Uniontown's volleyball team lost to Pittsburg Colgan in the finals of Sub-State on their home court at West Bourbon Elementary School.
Saturday, the Eagles gained a measure of revenge by beating Colgan in the finals on the Panthers' home court. Uniontown (33-5), the No. 2-ranked team in Class 2A in the Kansas Volleyball Association poll, will go on to the Class 2A State Tournament this weekend at Fort Hays State University. It will be their first trip to State since 2006.
Jayhawk-Linn was also present in the tournament, winning its first-round match but falling to Uniontown in the semifinals.
"I am so proud of all the girls," Uniontown head coach Jackie Hall said. "They have worked extremely hard to get to this point. Going to State was a goal they all had since the beginning of the season and I am glad they have reached that and can go on."
The Eagles will be the No. 3 seed at State and will play in a pool with No. 2 Lebo (35-4), No. 6 Moundridge (31-9) and No. 7 Oskaloosa (30-10) on Friday. In the other pool are No. 1 Oberlin (36-1), No. 4 Spearville (31-7), No. 5 Blue Rapids-Valley Heights (32-9) and No. 8 Salina Sacred Heart (25-12).
Pool play begins at 3:30 p.m. Uniontown will play its first match at 4:30 against Moundridge. The Eagles will play Oskaloosa at 6:30 and Lebo at 7:30. If they finish as one of the top two teams in the pool, they will advance to the semifinals Saturday at 2. The third-place and championship matches will take place 15 minutes after the last semifinal match concludes (Two courts will be in use).
Saturday's action at Colgan began with an Eagle sweep of Humboldt, 25-5, 25-6. Jacy Ermel served 15 consecutive points in the first game and 12 consecutive in the second. Abbie Smith recorded 12 kills for the Eagles while Jessie Camac had 4.
Fourth-seeded Jayhawk-Linn (26-14) defeated Sedan in its first match, 19-25, 25-11, 25-21. The Eagles then beat the Jayhawks, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19. Smith had 14 kills and Ermel had 12.
"The Jayhawk match was, well, a match," Hall said. "We were very slow in starting and they were playing great. I knew they would be tough. Plus, we know so many of their girls. It was kind of an emotional match.
"We struggled early on with our serve receive and our passing. J-Linn serves extremely tough and we were not making good adjustments. But this team has a lot of determination and heart and found a way to get things done and move on to the championship match."
Second-seeded Colgan beat Marmaton Valley in the first round, 25-19, 25-14, then had to go three games to beat third seed Howard-West Elk, 25-18, 20-25, 25-14.
Uniontown swept the finals from Colgan, 25-10, 25-20. Ermel had 24 kills and Smith finished with 8 herself.
Hall said that the Eagles will leave for Hays Thursday morning.