Park Hill South takes Truman title in dominant fashion

Park Hill South nearly swept all the way through one of the largest tournaments in the area.

After about 12 hours at Truman High School in Independence, Mo., the Panthers finished off an unbeaten day with the Truman Tournament title Saturday, Oct. 8. They went 6-0-1 after a pool play draw with Blue Springs, not enduring another close set until the championship match with Lee’s Summit West.

Park Hill South avoided any extra work with a 25-20, 27-25 win over the Titans.

After romping through the early part of the bracket, Park Hill South encountered its biggest obstacle but received 11 kills and 18 digs from senior Andi Elley, while Emily Day topped the defense with 20 digs. The 11 kills were a team-high for any single match in the tournament.

Park Hill South, which improved to 27-1-1, fought back for its draw in the second of three pool play matches.

After dropping the opening set 25-18 against Blue Springs, the Panthers snuck out with a 25-21 in the second for a draw despite recording just 16 kills total. Elley and Kacy Lewallen contributed two service aces apiece.

Park Hill South then won the first of two matchups with North Kansas City (25-9, 25-13) behind six kills for junior Annika Welty and three aces for Elley before rolling Fort Osage (25-12, 25-9). Welty had 10 kills in that victory.

The second win against North Kansas City was closer but set up a semifinal with Liberty, which the Panthers won 25-17, 25-16 again behind Welty (nine kills) and senior Bri Bartosh (eight kills).

Park Hill didn’t meet up with Park Hill South, but the Trojans lost just once and tied for third place. They went 2-0-1 in pool, drawing with Kearney before losing to Lee’s Summit West in the other semifinal. 

The pool wins included a sweep of Staley in what could be a Class 4 District 16 semifinal preview. Kayla Huffman, Park Hill’s junior setter, hit five service aces to go with seven digs and 16 assists in the 25-22, 25-17 victory. The Trojans’ tie came against Kearney.

In bracket play, Park Hill beat Marquette behind eight kills and 11 digs for Chelsea Edwards.

The 11 digs tied with Madison Michaelis for the team-high. That set up a rematch with Staley, which lost in straight sets again — this time 25-18, 25-19. Kai Welsh (eight kills) and Tyah Barnett (seven kills) led the offense this time with Edwards (12 digs) and Michaelis (11 digs) again topping the defense.

Lee’s Summit West swept the semifinal 25-21, 25-18 despite 10 kills for Trojans sophomore Rachel Pella, while Welsh had three blocks. Huffman totaled 20 assists in the loss.

Platte County went 0-4, starting with a sweep loss to Park Hill South and finishing in bracket play against Lee’s Summit West. 

Elley and Welty put up six kills apiece in the opener with the Pirates, while senior setter Allison Salder added five. Platte County’s Lauren Walker had five for the Pirates’ team-high. Walker (three) and Bailey Harris and Alex Huntley (two apiece) put up solid block numbers in a loss to North Kansas City (25-19, 26-24), while Huntley had four kills in a blowout loss to Blue Springs.

Platte County’s tournament ended with Lee’s Summit West’s 25-9, 25-11 rout despite a tournament-high six kills for Huntley. 

Park Hill South 2, Liberty 0

The Panthers moved within one win of securing a second straight unbeaten Suburban Conference Red Division title with a sweep Thursday, Oct. 6 in Liberty, Mo.

Park Hill South senior Allison Sadler produced five kills and 17 assists, while Day (12 digs) and Sarah Knight (two blocks) led the defense. Sadler’s kill total ranked only behind Welty (eight) and Elley (seven).

Park Hill South had won 20 straight Red Division matches dating back to the 2014 regular season finale. The Panthers were scheduled to finish conference play at home Tuesday, Oct. 11 against Truman, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Park Hill South 2, Raytown 0

The Panthers’ top three were efficient in attack in a Red Division win Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

Elley led Park Hill South with nine kills, while Welty and Bartosh added eight apiece. Sadler had 20 assists, and Elley led the defense with eight digs.

Lee’s Summit North 2, Park Hill 0

The Broncos earned the season sweep in Suburban Conference Gold Division play with a 25-16, 25-15 win Thursday, Oct. 6 in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Park Hill finished with 20 kills total (Pella, seven) and one ace (Edwards) in a limited offensive showing. The Trojans dropped to 5-5 in league play with scheduled matches against Blue Springs (Tuesday, Oct. 11, result not available at The Citizen’s deadline) and Blue Springs South (Thursday, Oct. 13) before the start of district play.

Blue Springs and Blue Springs South won their first matchups this year in Gold Division play against Park Hill.

Park Hill 2, Liberty North 0

The Trojans dominated a nonconference matchup (25-12, 25-13) on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. behind 11 kills for Pella and three aces, 10 digs and 18 assists for Huffman. Michaelis finished with 12 digs to top the defense.

Pella and Welsh tied for the match-high with three blocks apiece for Park Hill.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County senior Bailey Harris (12) hits a set for teammate Lauren Walker, right) during a nonconference matchup with St. Joseph Central on Thursday, Oct. 6 at Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County senior Bailey Harris (12) hits a set for teammate Lauren Walker, right) during a nonconference matchup with St. Joseph Central on Thursday, Oct. 6 at Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo.

Platte County 2, St. Joseph Central 1

The Pirates rallied back from a second-set lull to avoid dropping a nonconference match to a Class 4 District 16 opponent.

In a 25-17, 15-25, 25-16 win, Sarah Bell produced 32 assists for Platte County, and Harris (eight kills), Alex Huntley (eight kills) and Walker (seven kills) topped the offense. Bell, a freshman, also added a match-high four service aces — three in the final set — in her continued strong play down the stretch.

“The coaching staff challenged the ladies to bounce back in the third set and play their best volleyball,” Platte County coach Katlyn Donovan said. “Although it wasn’t our best volleyball, we are still proud of how the ladies finished the game.”

Platte County 2, Grandview 0

The Pirates dominated both sets of a Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Grandview, Mo.

Bell ended up with three services aces and 10 assists, while junior Kenzie Polley (six kills) and Harris (five kills) led the offense. Polley also added two blocks.

Hannah Kunels led the defense with three blocks.

Platte County improved to 6-3 in Blue Division play with the finale against Belton scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.