South volleyball opens with tough victory against Staley

Park Hill South needed three sets to win a difficult season-opener in a matchup of Class 4 district runners-up from a year ago.

Annika Welty and Bri Bartosh recorded a co-team-high of nine kills, while Bartosh and senior Andi Elley hit three service aces apiece in the 2-1 victory over Staley on Monday, Aug. 22 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo. Staley finished as the District 16 runner-up to Oak Park last year, ending up with 26 wins, while Park Hill South’s 29-win campaign concluded with a loss to St. Teresa’s in the District 15 final.

Park Hill South and Staley were both No. 1 seeds.

An all-state outside hitter as a junior, Elley managed only three kills, but Bartosh, a fellow senior outside hitter, and junior middle hitter Welty helped make up the difference. Elley did lead Park Hill South with four blocks, while Welty and setter Allison Sadler added three apiece.

Park Hill South returned all six starters from a year ago —  including Sadler, who was pressed into full-time service last season. She recorded 23 assists in the opener. Elley and Bartosh led the Panthers with nine digs on defense.

South Holt 2, North Platte 1

The Panthers won the opening set but faded down the stretch of their season-opener Monday, Aug. 22 at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo.

With just one returning varsity player, North Platte opened with a 25-14 victory but dropped the final two sets. Lauren Payne made her debut as starting setter after a reserve role last year and recorded 18 assists. 

Makenzie Brockhoff tallied a match-high nine kills, while Kelsey Reynolds and Holly Webb had three digs apiece.