Platte County volleyball fights way back into district semifinals

Platte County didn’t enter the postseason with the same pedigree as last year but found a way to extend its season with an exciting victory in the first round of the Class 4 District 16 tournament. The defending champions in the field, the third-seeded Pirates needed three sets to beat St. Joseph Central for a second time this season. Kenedy Knox and Kenzie Polley combined for 26 kills in the 30-28, 23-25, 25-14 win Monday, Oct. 19 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Platte County (16-13-2) moves on for at least one more match, a semifinal against second-seeded Oak Park scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21. The championship match will follow shortly after against the winner of top-seeded Staley and No.4 Kearney.

In the opening set against Central, Platte County trailed 20-15 and faced a set point at 24-22 before rallying to the score at 25. The Indians missed on a second set point, and Platte County scored the final three points to escape with the first set victory.

“We were on the ropes several times in the first set, but came through with some timely stuff blocks, some amazing digs and some well placed hits,” Platte County coach Shelby Hoffman said.

Central managed to close out the second set despite some tense moments late but couldn’t stay close in the third.

Knox supplied six of her 14 kills and Polley three more in the final set. Rylie Collins — the Pirates’ senior libero — tallied three aces to go with a team-high 18 digs. Madysen Fine supplied 19 assists, while Knox added 11.

Platte County had swept Central during the regular season.

Kearney 2, Park Hill 0

The Trojans struggled to find consistent offense and their season came to an end in a 25-12, 25-18 loss Monday, Oct. 19 in the first round of the Class 4 District 16 tournament.

Park Hill, which finished 10-18-5, recorded 20 total kills, but senior Gabby Sweeney led the way with just five. Fellow senior Sabrina Corley added four, and sophomore setter Kayla Huffman contributed a pair of aces to go with 14 assists.

In the final nine matches of the season, Park Hill went 1-6-2.

Other games

Belton 2, Platte County 0

Platte County couldn’t wrap up a share of the Suburban Conference Blue Division title, losing in straight sets Thursday, Oct. 15 in Belton, Mo.

In the previous league matchup, Platte County swept Belton, but Platte County couldn’t finish off the season sweep a week after knocking off Kearney to forge a tie at the top of the Blue Division standings. Kearney ended up winning the title outright at 9-1, while Platte County finished 8-2.

Mikayla Wheeler recorded 16 digs, while Collins added 13 in the loss to Belton. Knox finished with a team-high 10 kills, while Fine added four to go with 11 assists.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Platte County swept Grandview to set up the final regular season game scenario of needing a win to clinch a share of the Blue Division title.

Park Hill South 2, Truman 0

The Panthers finished off an unbeaten run through the Suburban Conference Red Division schedule Thursday, Oct. 15 in Independence, Mo.

Annika Welty led the way with 13 kills on 17 attacks, while Andi Elley added 12. Bri Bartosh rounded out the high-scoring trio with 11 kills while adding two blocks.

Park Hill South finished the regular season with a 26-5-1 record and earned the top seed in the seven-team Class 4 District 15 bracket. The Panthers were scheduled to play North Kansas City at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

The championship is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Liberty High School in Liberty, Mo.

Park Hill South 2, Liberty 1

The Panthers went to a third set for just the third time during the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 13 — the second against Liberty.

Park Hill South improved to 3-0 against the Blue Jays on the season, adding a second three-set victory against them. The Panthers also won a third set against Liberty in their final match of the Bronco Invitational last month.

In this meeting, Elley led the way with 14 kills while Bartosh added 13, and they recorded two aces apiece. Allison Sadler provided 29 assists from her setter spot.

Liberty 2, Park Hill 0

The Trojans closed out the regular season with a straight sets loss Thursday, Oct. 15 in Liberty, Mo., dropping to 4-6 in Red Division play.

Liberty swept the conference meetings this season and three matches overall. Sweeney ended up with 10 of Park Hill’s 12 kills in the 25-17, 25-9 loss. Huffman had a pair of aces.

Park Hill 2, St. Joseph Central 0

The Trojans finished off of one of its two sweeps in league play Tuesday, Oct. 13 in St. Joseph, Mo., beating the Indians for a second time this season.

Sweeney recorded 11 kills and accounted for more than a third of the offense for Park Hill in the win. Lexi Renau, a sophomore, collected 16 digs.