Park Hill started pool play with no wins in three matches but finished with a winning record in at the Truman Tournament, including a second victory of the season over rival Park Hill South.
After a loss and two ties in pool play, Park Hill swept North Kansas City to finish third and advance to bracket play. The Trojans then beat Park Hill South and Oak Park to place seventh in the 15-team field. Kristen Birmingham, a freshman, led a balanced attack with six kills in the final match — a 25-16, 25-17 victory over Oak Park.
Park Hill senior Kai Welsh had seven blocks, while senior Madison Michaelis led three in double figures for digs with 14.
The strong defensive effort in the third-place pool finale came after Park Hill used a dominant offense to beat Park Hill South for a second straight time. Kayla Huffman, a senior, had 16 assists on 31 kills, but six players had at least four kills in the matchup — Birmingham, Welsh and Huffman six, Hannah Graves five and Rachel Pella and Sabrina Lane four.
Park Hill South, which still took the No. 1 seed in Class 4 District 16 despite the losses to Park Hill, played without senior star Annika Welty. The Panthers had just 14 kills without her — five for sophomore Rachel Francis to go with her team-high three blocks.
While Park Hill went 1-1-2 in pool play with ties against Lee’s Summit and Truman and a loss to Marquette, Park Hill South started 2-1-1.
The first win came against Raymore-Peculiar with freshman Abbie Day leading the Panthers with eight kills, while Welty added six. Day also recorded all four of their service aces in a 25-22, 25-15 sweep.
Welty didn’t play in the final five matches due to back spasms, and Park Hill South lost to Staley in pool play during another matchup of District 16 foes.
Park Hill South came back to beat Winnetonka to place third in the opening pool behind junior Michelle Dvorak (eight kills) and Francis (seven kills) before the loss to Park Hill. The Panthers closed with a win over Oak Park, and freshman Arley Anderson supplied 22 assists on 28 total kills — 11 for Dvorak.
Park Hill South’s record stood at 20-6-2 entering a Tuesday, Oct. 10 Suburban Conference Red Division finale with Truman, but the Panthers earned the No. 1 seed in District 16 and a first round bye. They will open Wednesday, Oct. 18 against either Staley or Platte County.
Park Hill (18-11-3 with two games left in the regular season) is the No. 2 seed and will open Monday, Oct. 16 against North Kansas City at Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo.
Park Hill South 2, Liberty 0
Welty recorded 12 kills and helped the Panthers avenge a prior loss while also jumping back into the Suburban Conference Red Division race.
Dvorak added seven kills in a strong attack for Park Hill South on Thursday, Oct. 5 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo. The Panthers won 25-19, 25-21 to run its winning streak to six straight entering the Truman Tournament.
Welty and Dvorak also added five blocks apiece, while Park Hill South junior Kacy Lewallen had a team-high 13 digs.
Park Hill South was at 8-1 in Red Division play entering a Tuesday, Oct. 10 matchup with Truman. A win for the Panthers would assure at least a share of the conference title with Liberty needing wins over both Raytown and Truman.
Tuesday’s result was not available.
Park Hill 2, Lee’s Summit North 0
The Trojans closed out their home slate with a 25-20, 25-21 win Thursday, Oct. 5 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.
Welsh had nine of Park Hill’s 30 kills while Birmingham added eight for Park Hill. Pella contributed to all four of the Trojans’ blocks.
The Suburban Conference Gold Division win came with two league matches left. Park Hill stood at 4-6 in the Gold Division with matchups at Blue Springs (Tuesday, Oct. 10) and at Blue Springs South (Thursday, Oct. 12) still left.
The Tuesday result was not available at deadline.
Park Hill South 2, Northland Christian 1
The Panthers pulled away in the third set of a back-and-forth 25-22, 18-25, 25-16 win over the No. 1 team in Class 1 on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.
Welty matched her season-high with 16 kills for Park Hill South, while freshman Arley Anderson committed just two errors while dishing out 27 assists from the setter spot. Lewallen (22), Arley Anderson (19), Abbie Day (16), Adah Anderson (13) and Hannah Knight (12) all finished in double figures for digs.
Park Hill South 2, Raytown 0
The Panthers were dominant in a Red Division win Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Raytown, Mo. Lewallen had 11 digs, while Arley Anderson finished with 19 assists in the quick 25-6, 25-18 win.
Park Hill 2, Liberty North 0
The Trojans were dominant in the opening set on the way to a sweep Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Liberty, Mo.
After winning 25-8 in the opening set, Park Hill went on to the sweep with a 25-20 win in the second. Huffman contributed four aces, while Pella (seven), Welsh (six) and Lane (five) led the Trojans’ balanced attack in kills.