West Platte volleyball 4th at KCI Tournament; North Platte goes winless

The defending KCI Conference Tournament champions went winless Saturday, Aug. 27 in Gower, Mo.

North Platte went 0-3 in pool play and lost its two bracket games, as well. West Platte won its pool but ended up fourth after closing with back-to-back losses. The Bluejays were 3-3-1 on the season entering a Thursday, Sept. 1 home matchup with East Buchanan.

West Platte and East Buchanan split in a pool opener at the league tournament.

Megan Kottman provided 10 assists for the Bluejays from her setter spot, helping a balanced offense. Jordan Schultz led the way with five kills while Faith Stevens added three, and Schultz, Kottman and Daire Stelljes contributed two aces apiece in a 25-22, 17-25 split.

Kottman ended up with 35 total assists in 27-25, 25-19 and 25-14, 25-9 wins against Plattsburg and Hamilton.

Schultz totaled 19 kills in the two matches, leading West Platte’s offense in both. Kottman had 35 assists total and four aces against Plattsburg. Stelljes served four aces against Hamilton.

In the first matchup of bracket play, Mid-Buchanan won the opening set 28-26 against West Platte and then dominated the Bluejays 25-10 to take the victory. Schultz had seven kills and Nealie Niemeier added six in the loss.

Mid-Buchanan went on to take the tournament title from East Buchanan. 

Lawson won the third-place match 25-20, 25-23 despite seven kills from Niemeier and six apiece for Stelljes and Schultz. Niemeier also had five digs, two back of Karen Knox for the team lead.

“I saw a lot of great things on the day but also saw a lot of things that we need to work on,” West Platte coach Amber Guthrie said. “I was proud of the way that our seniors stepped up and played and was impressed with some of the play I saw in our younger girls. It was a rollercoaster of a tournament for us, but it’s still early in the season, and I think there are still big opportunities for this team.”

After taking the tournament title each of the past two years, North Platte didn’t win a set in five matches, including losses to Mid-Buchanan and Lawson in pool play.

McKenzie Brockhoff continued to shine for North Platte during an 0-6 start, recording 15 kills with Kelsey Reynolds adding 10. Lauren Payne, a senior and the only player with returning varsity experience, ended up with 23 assists.

Reynolds (18 digs) led the defense with Brockhoff and Payne adding 16 apiece.

Orrick 2, West Platte 1

The Bluejays dropped the final two sets of a road game Thursday, Aug. 25 in Orrick, Mo.

Schultz recorded 14 kills, helping West Platte take a tight opening set 26-24. Orrick came back to win the next two sets 25-21 and 25-17 in an effort Guthrie called relentless.

Niemeier contributed five service aces and four kills in the loss for West Platte.

West Platte 2, Mound City 0

The Bluejays opened with a victory Tuesday, Aug. 23 at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. behind 11 total service aces for Schultz and Kottman. Schultz had six aces, while Kottman added five.

Niemeier and Ciara Davies led West Platte with two kills apiece.

Bishop LeBlond 2, North Platte 0

The youthful Panthers struggled against an established powerhouse Thursday, Aug. 25 at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo.

Katie Sanders led North Platte’s defense with seven digs, while Brockhoff, Payne and Hayleigh Moore topped the offense with one kill apiece. Payne provided three assists.

LeBlond won 25-10, 25-8.