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WICHITA – While they did not end the day as they were hoping, the McPherson High junior varsity volleyball team still managed to place fourth on Saturday at the 10-team Wichita Bishop Carroll Invitational.

The Lady Bullpups began the day in pool play and drew powerhouse Bishop Carroll as their first match opponent. While McPherson gave them a hard-fought battle, they lost in straight sets (16-25, 21-25) before bouncing back and stopping Hutchinson Trinity in straight sets (25-15, 25-23) despite a two-point nail biting second set tangle.

Closing out their pool play at 3-1 worked because the Lady Bullpups were able to take down Wichita East in three sets (25-19, 21-25, 25-13) before closing out pool action by defeating Wichita Heights in straight sets (25-12, 25-16).

“We knew this would likely be our toughest tournament of the season,” explained junior varsity coach Melissa Bradshaw. “We started the day off with Bishop Carroll who is the toughest opponent we have faced all season. Last time we played we didn’t rise to the challenge of battling the entire match. I thought we started the day off well. Even though we fell short, we competed throughout the entire match.”

Highlighting some key players, Coach Bradshaw continued her discussion about pool play by saying, “The rest of pool play went well. At times we tend to play down to our opponents’ level, but I thought we did a great job of staying focused and minimizing our errors. We are doing some really great things. Kaylee (Zeitlow) has stepped up her defensive game tremendously while Tailynn (Buettgenbach) is making plays at the net and in transition that she couldn’t do at the start of the season. It’s exciting to see the pieces falling together.”

In bracket play, the Lady Bullpups struggled to get points as they lost to Goddard Eisenhower in straight sets (14-25, 16-25). That set up a battle for third place with Maize South and McPherson gave them everything they could handle, taking the match to a full three sets before losing (19-25, 25-22, 23-25) to finish fourth for the day.

Coach Bradshaw concluded her post-match reflections by talking about the final game with Maize South, saying, “The third-place match was an exciting one. After falling again to Goddard Eisenhower in the semis, we didn’t start off how we wanted. However, we quickly turned things around. We were down by a huge margin in the third set and almost pulled off the comeback. Although the day didn’t end quite as we wanted, the entire team felt motivated by our effort on Saturday. We knew we were starting to do the things we’ve talked about in practice and are ready to take on the last two weeks of our season.”

Among the team leaders were Megan Lulloff and Kelcy Bergstrom who led the Lady Bullpups in kills with 34 and 28 respectively, while Kaylee Zeitlow once again handled assists by racking up 81. Lulloff also scored 19 aces and 27 digs, though Lexi Kynaston was the team leader in digs with 88 and Kelcie Kynaston had 22.

Next up for the Lady Bullpup junior varsity spikers will be a triangular on Tuesday at El Dorado with El Dorado and Buhler.



LADY BULLPUPS lost to Bishop Carroll (16-25, 21-25).

LADY BULLPUPS BEAT Hutchinson Trinity (25-15, 25-23).

LADY BULLPUPS BEAT Wichita East (25-19, 21-25, 25-13).

LADY BULLPUPS BEAT Wichita Heights (25-12, 25-16).


LADY BULLPUPS lost to Goddard Eisenhower (14-25, 16-25).


LADY BULLPUPS lost to Maize South (19-25, 25-22, 23-25).


Kelcy Bergstrom had 28 kills, 3 stuffed blocks, 5 aces and 20 digs.

Tailynn Buettgenbach had 2 kills, 1 stuffed block and 1 dig.

Kelcie Kynaston had 8 kills and 22 digs.

Lexi Kynaston had 4 kills, 7 aces and 88 digs.

Megan Lulloff had 34 kills, 19 aces and 27 digs.

Maliya Paine had 2 digs.

Avery Strathman had 14 kills, 3 aces and 6 digs.

Kaylee Zeitlow had 3 kills, 4 aces, 18 digs and 81 assists.

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