South volleyball's unbeaten start nets milestone win for coach

Karen Rule started this week with 202 career victories, thanks to Park Hill South’s unbeaten start to the season.

On Monday, Aug. 28, the Panthers easily swept past Oak Park in a nonconference match at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo. The 25-5, 25-18 victory improved them to 4-0 heading into a Suburban Conference Red Division opener scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Liberty North.

Karen Rule

Karen Rule

The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Park Hill South entered the season with almost a complete roster turnover to start Rule’s fourth year with the program. The early returns have been encouraging with the attack leading the way against the Lady Oakies.

Annika Welty, a senior returning all-state middle hitter, posted nine kills, while junior returner Michelle Dvorak was a perfect 8-for-8 on attacks for Park Hill South.  Overall, the Panthers had 30 kills in the two sets, while Welty served up four of their seven aces.

Adah Anderson — one of three freshmen playing a lot of minutes — led Park Hill South’s defense with 10 digs.

Rule led Park Hill South back to the playoffs a year ago for the first time since 2013. Welty was the only returning starter from that group with only three players boasting significant experience.

Park Hill South 2, Lee’s Summit North 0

The Panthers opened their home schedule with a 25-21, 25-19 win Thursday, Aug. 24 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

Welty ended up with a match-high 12 kills to go with three of Park Hill South’s four blocks. Kacy Lewallen (14 digs) and Arley Anderson (13 digs) were also a big part of the Panthers’ defense.

Park Hill 3, Oak Park 1

The Trojans won the final two sets in a back-and-forth nonconference matchup Thursday, Aug. 24 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Kai Welsh, a senior, recorded 13 kills for Park Hill in a 25-21, 16-25, 25-16, 27-25 win, while junior Sabrina Lane and senior setter Kayla Huffman had a team-high three aces each. Welsh added seven blocks in a solid all-around performance.

Huffman had 22 assists, while junior Landyn Powell had 14.

The teams agreed to play three out of five sets, which is rarely done in Missouri. Park Hill coach Lindsay Hood is trying to help drive more matches in that format to align with what most other states already do.

Park Hill South 2, North Kansas City 0

The Panthers were dominant in a road win Tuesday, Aug. 22 in North Kansas City, Mo., helping Rule record her 200th career victory.

North Kansas City committed a multitude of errors and couldn’t keep up. Welty led Park Hill South’s offense with six kills and the defense with three blocks. The Panthers were balanced with freshman Abbie Day providing five kills, Dvorak four and junior Cassidy Hedrick three.

Adah Anderson recorded a pair of aces.

Park Hill 2, Winnetonka 0

The Trojans opened the season Tuesday, Aug. 22 with a 25-16, 25-18 nonconference win at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.

A balanced offense for Park Hill featured five players with at least three kills, including a match-high nine for junior Rachel Pella. Huffman had three service aces to go with 14 assists, while Powell added seven assists.