Platte County volleyball creeps past .500, places 2nd at home tournament

Platte County pushed its record above .500 after a second-place finish in its home tournament Saturday, Sept. 19. The Pirates went 2-0-1 in pool play of the Platte County Invitational to earn the top seed in the afternoon’s bracket. After winning two close matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals, the Pirates lost in the championship to Grain Valley, 25-13, 25-21.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County senior Madysen Fine hits a spike during the championship match of the Platte County Invitational against Grain Valley on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Platte County High School.

However, Platte County continued to flash signs of potential and reeled off three straight wins for the first time this season — the pool finale against William Chrisman and then bracket matches with Summit Christian and Belton. The Pirates entered the season with high expectations after a program-best two-year run that included a trip to the Class 4 quarterfinals last season, and the runner-up finish built confidence for the remodeled roster.

“We know this will pay off big dividends down the road,” Platte County coach Shelby Hoffman said. “We are doing some real good things — but need to clean up our mistakes.”

Platte County senior Madysen Fine led the offensive attack, doling out 60 assists in six matches, while tallying 24 kills. In all, five Pirates finished with at least 10 — Kenedy Knox (28), Kenzie Polley (22), Alex Huntley (13) and Kaily Saxer-Taulbee (11).

Libero Rylie Colins led the defense with 31 digs, while Mikayla Wheeler added 30 and Knox chipped in 28.

Platte County owned a 9-8-1 record entering a return to Suburban Conference Blue Division play. The Pirates were scheduled to host Belton on Tuesday, Sept. 22, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Lee’s Summit North Bronco Invitational

Park Hill South went 4-1-1, including a second win on the season against rival Park Hill, on Saturday, Sept. 19 in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

In pool play, the Panthers went 1-1-1, tying Oak Park and losing to Lee’s Summit. They then went 3-0 in bracket play, edging Liberty 2-1 in the final. The loss to Lee’s Summit ended a 13-match winning streak dating back to a loss to the same Tigers in the second match of the regular season.

Against Liberty, Park Hill South (16-3-1) prevailed in the first and third sets.

Andi Elley provided 13 kills, while Allison Sadler and Annika Welty recorded two blocks apiece. Welty added 11 kills, while Sadler led the offense with 34 assists.

Just two days earlier, Park Hill South beat Liberty in straight sets to improve to 4-0 in Suburban Conference Red Division play entering a Tuesday, Sept. 22 match with Truman. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Park Hill went 2-3 in Bronco Invitational.

Kearney 2, Platte County 1

The Pirates missed a chance to close out the match in the second set Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Platte County High School and suffered their first loss in Suburban Conference Blue Division play since 2013.

Platte County won the opening set 29-27 after rallying from a 21-13 deficit and fighting through four different ties. There were two more late ties in the second set, but Kearney won out 26-24 and took the decider 25-23. The Pirates had won 15 straight in Blue Division play dating back to a loss against Kearney in 2013.

“Our team shared their hearts on the court playing for each other while battling the Bulldogs,” Hoffman said. “I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for our team — The heart, sacrifice and excitement that we played with will continue to build from this point forward.”

Knox and Collins combined for all eight of Platte County’s aces, while Fine led the way with 15 assists. Knox tallied 13 kills with Fine right behind at 11.

Platte County 2, Grandview 0

The Pirates earned a dominant 25-10, 25-9 victory in Blue Division play Thursday, Sept. 17 at Platte County High School. Grandview scored the first four points of the opening set but wilted from there.

Hannah Kunels recorded three aces and 12 service points for Platte County in the runaway, while Knox added three aces. Fine notched 15 assists with Knox leading the attack at eight kills. Kunels followed with five.

Liberty 2, Platte County 0

The Pirates recorded 12 blocks, mostly in a tight first set, in what ended up a 25-19, 25-10 loss Monday, Sept. 21 in Liberty, Mo. The Pirates didn’t generate much offense with Knox, Fine and Alex Huntley recording three kills apiece. Fine also tallied five assists.

Park Hill South 2, Ruskin 0

The Panthers earned an easy sweep while resting some of their regulars Wednesday, Sept. 16 in Kansas City, Mo.

Bartosh recorded six of Park Hill South’s nine aces in the first set but didn’t play, along with Sadler, Elley and Welty. Madison Murphy ended up with a team-high five kills, while Sarah Knight provided 11 assists.

Park Hill 2, St. Joseph Central 0

The Trojans escaped with a first set win Thursday, Sept. 17 in St. Joseph, Mo., then ran away to the sweep.

With the victory, Park Hill improved to 2-2 in Suburban Conference Red Division play with six of seven remaining matches in the regular season against league foes. Sweeny led the offense against St. Joseph Central with 12 kills, while Kayla Huffman accounted for five of the Trojans’ eight aces.

Park Hill won the opening set 25-23 and then secured the sweep with a 25-12 margin in the second set.

North Platte 2, Hamilton 0

The Panthers improved to 16-1, 2-0 in KCI Conference play with a dominant effort Thursday, Sept. 17 in Hamilton, Mo. Lauren Payne recorded 19 assists with Katie Heese leading North Platte with 11 kills.

Following the win, North Platte had a week off before continuing league play at Lawson.