ST. PAUL -- Pleasanton's volleyball squad reached the semifinal round of the St. Paul Class 1A-Division I Sub-State Tournament here Saturday and finished the season with a record of 13-22.
The Blu-Jays opened with a 27-25, 25-11 sweep of Three Rivers League rival Crest. Megan Lowe had 9 kills in the match for Pleasanton. Johnnea Saulsberry handed out 6 assists.
"Our girls came out a little nervous and played tight in the first set," Pleasanton head coach Danny Looney said. "Gotta give credit to Crest. They were contesting all our hits.
"We were up 24-21 and they came back and took a 25-24 lead. I was pretty nevous but Teal Baker came up with a big kill and Karesa Lewis had a big stuff block to finish them off. We played and communicated much better in the second set."
The fourth-seeded Blu-Jays then had to face top seed Cedar Vale/Dexter, which drew a first-round bye in the 6-team tournament. CVD took the match, 25-17, 25-7.
"They dominated uas at the net with their height," Looney said. "The first set, we played hard and seemed to be getting all the breaks. We were flying around the court and getting to all the balls. But they got on a roll and took control.
"In the second set, our girls kept trying. But I think reality started to set in and we just didn't have the same energy we had earlier. Cedar Vale moved and defensed very well. We were getting hits, but they got to all of them and dug them out."
Pleasanton had 25 attack chances in the second set but only got 4 kills, one each by Loew, Saulsberry, Lewis and Brytnee Streeter. Saulsberry had 2 assists and 3 blocks. Melanie Sowards also had 3 blocks while Lewis ended up with 3 digs.
Second-seeded Southern Coffey County (22-15) beat CVD (29-9) in the finals, 25-16, 19-25, 25-23, and will go to the Class 1A-Division I State Tournament at Emporia this weekend. The Titans will be the No. 8 seed, grouped in a pool with No. 1 Olpe (33-2), No. 4 Sylvan Lucas (31-7) and No. 5 Baileyville (30-11). It will be SCC's second consecutive trip to State.
NOTES -- Class 1A has been split into two divisions for volleyball and basketball this year and both divisions will have their State tournaments at Emporia.
Neither the defending Class 1A champion, Frankfort, nor the runner-up, will appear in either division's State tournament this year. However, last year's third-place team, St. John, is in the Division I state tourney as the No. 2 seed at 36-4 while the fourth-place team, Hutchinson Central Christian, is the No. 1 seed in the Division II tournament at 38-2.
Three of last year's single 1A State qualifiers are in each division's tourney this year....