Platte County needed a win on an emotional night to realistically keep hopes of a Suburban Conference Blue Division title alive.
Kearney came into a Thursday, Sept. 28 matchup at Platte County High School already with the advantage in the season series, and the Bulldogs took the opening set in the rematch. Platte County came back to force a third set but five service errors deflated the momentum, and Kearney held on for a 25-21, 23-25, 25-17 victory.
“Although the outcome is not what we wanted, we played really good volleyball tonight,” Platte County coach Katyln Donovan said. “I told the girls in the locker room, you can be a little disappointed, but your effort and attitude tonight was where it needed to be.”
Besides being important in the Blue Division season, the match also served as Platte County’s annual “Block Out Cancer” fundraiser, and this year, part of the proceeds went to a player’s family.
Recently, Jay Acker — the father of Platte County junior Gracie Acker — recently received a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer. The Pirates used this matchup to help the Acker family while also continuing to give back to the Landon Jaros Memorial Fund. Landon Jaros, who died at the age of four in 2016 from complications with cancer, was a noted fan of the volleyball team, and mother Megan Jaros — a 2002 Platte County graduate — played for the Pirates.
The Landon Jaros Memorial Fund helps other families dealing with cancer.
“It was amazing,” Donovan said. “The community of Platte City supported us, and I know Kearney was here to support us, too. It was good to see that we almost had a full gym. The support coming in for both families is awesome. and hopefully, we raised a lot of money for the Acker family and the Landon Jaros Memorial. It was just a great cause tonight.”
The money was raised in a silent auction, a raffle and a bake sale that took place before and during the games at Platte County High School.
“Both families have been such supporters of us throughout the years so any was that we can give back to them we definitely want to do that,” Platte County assistant coach Rachel Baker said. “It’s a struggle that most of us don’t realize what it can be so if we can just ease the burden a little bit, we’re going to do that.
“We’re hoping it’s a big success, and that they feel our love and support coming their way.”
After dropping the first set, Platte County found its rhythm behind senior outside hitter Kenzie Polley. The attack totaled 35 kills, and Polley accounted for 16, while senior Lauren Walker and freshman Aly Anderson added three apiece.
“That second set we definitely came out and were way more aggressive which was good to see,” Donovan said.
Five of Platte County’s seven service errors were in the third and deciding set. The Pirates couldn’t overcome the miscues and dropped to 14-7-2 overall and 6-2 in Blue Division play with just two conference matches remaining, starting with a scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 3 home match with Grandview (result not available).
Platte County will be in the Grain Valley Invitational this weekend before closing conference play next week at Belton.
Platte County 2, Winnetonka 0
Polley (11 kills) and Walker (10 kills) led a 25-20, 25-20 sweep for the Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 26 in Kansas City, Mo.
Overall, Platte County recorded 32 kills while Lily Harrison and sophomore setter Bell recorded two service aces apiece. Winnetonka hung close in both sets with its own strong attack. The Pirates recorded just one block total, while Hensley put up 20 digs.