Same story on a different day.
Platte County pulled a dominant sweep against Raytown South for the second time this season Thursday, Sept. 22 at Platte County High School for a much-needed Suburban Conference Blue Division victory. The Pirates have won four of their past five outside of tournament play (3-1 in league), inching closer to .500 overall with a gelling lineup playing for a first-year coach.
“I think we were pretty solid tonight after not playing games for so long,” said Platte County junior Kenzie Polley, the Pirates’ leading attacker on the season. “We’re ready to put our momentum into our games next week.”
The momentum carried over into a sweep of William Chrisman on Monday, Sept. 26, improving Platte County to 7-9-3 overall. The Pirates were scheduled for a Blue Division game with Winnetonka on Tuesday, Sept. 27 (result not available) and a rematch with Kearney on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Platte County sat at 4-2 in Blue Division play entering the week, the biggest highlight to a season that has included difficult tournaments in recent weeks.
The 25-4, 25-12 sweep included team-highs of seven service aces, five kills and 15 assists for versatile Platte County senior Bailey Harris, while sophomore Carli Hensley added five aces and 10 digs. Pirates junior Lauren Walker and senior Hannah Kunels each had one solo block and one block assist.
While the players made the victory seem easy, coach Katlyn Donovan was at first worried about how the Pirates would perform coming off a disappointing showing at their home tournament.
“This is a big win,” she said. “I was a little nervous we would come out slow, but we came out fired up which was really great to see from our girls. We’re proud of our girls for what they’ve done so far this year, and we’re going to try and keep improving, try to play our best volleyball at the end of the year which is what we want.”
Platte County enjoyed record-setting seasons in 2013 and 2014, winning 30 matches in each.
The best two-year stretch in program history was followed up with a solid season behind a mostly new group, and this year started with only Polley, Hensley and senior Alex Huntley having significant varsity experience.
Still playing as one of the smallest schools in Class 4, the postseason looks to be a difficult road, but the remainder of the regular season offers a chance to avenge prior Blue Division losses to Winnetonka and Belton.
Platte County 2, William Chrisman 0
The Pirates’ 25-13, 25-16 sweep Monday at Platte County High School included a balanced offensive performance from Harris (six kills), Polley (five) and Huntley (four). Harris also led Platte County with seven digs, tied with Ashley Bell for the team lead.
Kunels again played well at the net with two blocks.
Park Hill South 2, Liberty North 0
Annika Welty and Andi Elley recorded eight kills apiece for the Panthers in a Suburban Conference Red Division win Thursday, Sept. 22 in Liberty, Mo. Kacy Lewallen (10 digs) and Madison Murphy (eight digs) led the defense.
Park Hill South improved to 6-0 in Red Division play, entering a Tuesday, Sept. 27 matchup with St. Joseph Central. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill South 2, Kearney 0
The Panthers were without senior Bri Bartosh again after the key attacker injured her ankle the previous weekend during the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Invitational.
Park Hill South won the nonconference matchup Tuesday, Sept. 20 in Kearney, Mo. with Michelle Dvorak stepping up and recording seven kills — just one off of Elley’s team-high. Dvorak received increased playing time with Bartosh unable to go.
Elley also came up with 23 digs.
Park Hill 2, Lee’s Summit 1
The Trojans improved to 3-4 in Suburban Conference Gold Division play on Thursday, Sept. 22 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. with a second three-set win this season over the Tigers.
After losing the first set, Park Hill rallied back for a 23-25, 25-20, 25-21 win, similar to the result of the teams’ first league meeting back on Aug. 30. Kai Welsh (11 kills), Rachel Pella (10 kills) and Tyah Barnett (10 kills) led a balanced offense that finished with 43 total kills.
Welsh also finished with three blocks, while Chelsea Edwards led a quartet of Trojans in double figures for digs with 16. Kayla Huffman ended up with a season-high 36 assists.
Park Hill was scheduled to play a Gold Division match with Lee’s Summit West on Tuesday, Sept. 27, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Blue Springs South 2, Park Hill 1
The Trojans took the opening set of a Gold Division matchup Tuesday, Sept. 20 in Blue Springs, Mo. but fell apart late.
Blue Springs South rallied back for a 22-25, 25-23, 25-14 victory behind a dominant attack. The Jaguars recorded 48 kills compared to just 30 for Park Hill, which spread out its production between seven players.
Kayla Huffman, the Trojans’ junior setter, recorded a match-high seven kills, while also dishing out 17 assists. Barnett and Pella were the main beneficiaries with five kills apiece, while Honor Foutch, Edwards and Welsh each had four.
Edwards led the defense with 17 kills, while Madison Michaelis collected 13.