UNIONTOWN -- Uniontown's volleyball team wasn't going to be a Sub-State runner-up yet again, as they had been the last two seasons. And they weren't going to come up short on their home court.
So the Eagles went out and beat Oswego in three sets, 19-25, 25-15, 25-17, in the final of the Uniontown Class 2A Sub-State Volleyball Tournament at the West Bourbon Elementary gymnasium Saturday afternoon and will be playing at State for the first time since 2009.
"I am so proud of the team," Uniontown Head Coach Jackie Hall said. "They worked hard throughout the day to accomplish their goal to advance on to State. We knew we had to play well in all matches, and indeed they did."
Pool play at the Class 2A State Tournament begins Friday morning at 10 a.m. Uniontown (29-9), the No. 5 seed, will play at 11 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. If the Eagles are one of the top two teams in their pool, they will advance to the semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Eagles started off the day by defeating Northeast for the third time this season, 25-6, 25-3. Mandie Ridge held serve for 15 straight points in the second set and had 8 aces. Hayden Rathbun picked up 7 kills and Brit Stokes dished out 16 assists.
Next, Uniontown swept Lyndon, 25-16, 25-17. Rathbun and Ridge each had 4 kills. Emily Shinn and Hannah Travis each had 6 block assists. Stokes was credited with 12 assists.
In the final, the Eagles avenged their lone league loss in beating Oswego. Rathbun had 11 kills and Ridge had 8. Stokes had 22 assists.
"The Lyndon and Oswego matches were probably the best two matches we have played this season," Hall said. "In order to make it to the championship match, we had to get by a very good Lyndon team and the ladies rose to the occasion. We knew Oswego would be tough. We had split with them (this) season, so we knew it was going to be a battle."
Uniontown's first match Friday will be against the No. 4 seed, Brookville--Ell-Saline (33-5) at 11 a.m. The Eagles will then turn right around and face top-seeded Washington County (36-3), which finished as runner-up to Olpe last season, at Noon. The final match of the Eagles' day will be at 2 p.m. against Elbing Berean Academy (18-17), the No. 8 seed.
The opposite pool has No. 2 seed Hill City (35-4), No. 3 Kiowa County (35-4), No. 6 Pratt-Skyline (28-10) and No. 7 Jefferson County North (22-14).
Washington County and Pratt-Skyline, fourth in 2A last year, are the only returning teams. Defending champion Olpe will not be back because the Eagles moved down to Class 1A-Division I this season and will be at that State Tournament in Hays.