WESTON, Mo. — During West Platte’s annual “Dig the Pink” night promoting breast cancer awareness, the Bluejays received another look at their biggest KCI Conference rival.
Maranatha Academy (Kan.) swept both West Platte and North Platte, but the featured matchup at the end received the attention. West Platte jumpedto an early lead in both sets on the way to a 25-17, 25-18 sweep Monday, Oct. 2 at West Platte High School.
The two teams met in August during the KCI Conference Tournament, finishing with a tie.
“Maranatha, I was not happy with that performance at all, and against North Platte, the intensity was definitely better,” West Platte coach Amber Guthrie said. “They were more relentless which is how these girls play, and they’re scrappy. But we didn’t see that team against Maranatha.”
North Platte (2-18-1) continued to struggle with no still no seniors in the main rotation. The Panthers had dropped three straight since winning two of three, pending the result of a return to KCI play scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Mid-Buchanan (result not available).
Against West Platte, North Platte junior Kelsey Reynolds and sophomore McKenzie Brockhoff continued to pace the offense with five kills each while Panthers coach Scott McInnis used freshman Haylie Hensley at setter. She finished with nine assists.
“We’re getting better,” McInnis said. “I think there’s been improvement throughout the season. Sure, we still have a lot to work on, but I think everybody’s been improving on things. It’s just been up and down where some days we’re pretty solid and other matches not so much.
“They’ve all kept their heads up. Everybody’s kept a good attitude, and I’m proud of them.”
West Platte worked for the victory and avoided a letdown with a conference matchup between the two scheduled for later in the month.
North Platte held a brief lead in the third set, but the Bluejays pulled away behind a balanced attack. Sam Rotterman, a sophomore, led the offense with four kills, while junior Daire Stelljes added three. Emily Norman topped the defense with seven digs.
West Platte improved to 10-11-3 overall after a recent rough stretch with three KCI games left on the schedule. That started Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Hamilton (result not available), and Guthrie hopes the return to conference play inspires a late season run.
“I think when we see conference teams like Mid-Buch or North Platte we just want it more and we come to play and are capable of playing because we know we have to bring it to win against those teams,” Guthrie said. “So I think that we take teams that don’t necessarily mean anything to us too lightly sometimes and that kind of showed tonight against Maranatha.”
West Platte 2, Plattsburg 0
The Bluejays ended a seven-match winless streak and improved to 3-1 in KCI Conference play Thursday, Sept. 28 in Plattsburg, Mo.
Ciara Davies, a senior, recorded eight kills from her middle hitter spot, while freshman Lexie Smither added seven in a strong showing for West Platte’s offense. Faith Stevens, a sophomore setter, assisted on 20 of the Bluejays’ 26 kills.
Norman led the defense with eight digs.
Bishop LeBlond 2, West Platte 0
The Bluejays pushed the Class 2 powerhouse to the brink in the second set Tuesday, Sept. 26 in St. Joseph, Mo.
Behind seven service aces total, West Platte came back but couldn’t quite fend off LeBlond’s attack. The Golden Eagles held on for the 25-15, 27-25 sweep behind senior Sommer Herner’s 10 kills.
West Platte only had 11 kills total (team-high three for Davies), but Davies also had three of the aces and four total blocks.
KC Lutheran 2, North Platte 0
Brockhoff had seven kills, while sophomore Tatum Green supplied 12 assists in a loss Tuesday, Sept. 26 at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo.
Lutheran won the first set 25-11, and North Platte played better in the second, losing 25-19. Brockhoff also had a block.