By William

NEWTON – A team effort was what the coach asked for and a team effort is what the McPherson High volleyball team gave on Saturday as they opened their 2020 season with four huge wins in the AVCTL (Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League) Preseason Tournament in Newton.

While several sets were close, the Lady Bullpups never had to take the court for a third set as they won all four matches in straight sets.

After blowing out Derby 25-8 in their opening set of the season, McPherson had to fight hard to hang on to a straight set victory by a 26-24 margin in set two.

Lady Bullpup Head Coach Christy Doile was very pleased with their opening match performance and it showed when she noted, “I was very proud of the girls and couldn’t have asked for a better start. In set one against Derby we were ready to play and we played almost error free. We put every dig, receive to target, set ball to target and finished each attack. Set two was completely the opposite as Derby jumped out to a big lead. When we were down 10-17, I used our final time out and we pulled our team back together and battled it out to get the 26-24 win.”

In their second match of the day against host Newton, the Lady Bullpup spikers worked hard on the mental part of the game and held on for a fierce two-set 25-22, 27-25 victory.

“In set one against Newton we had the lead and held steady to the end,” added Coach Doile when discussing the second match of the day. “In set two, we had a lead and Newton fought back to get within one point or possible matching us. We went back and forth in the 20’s before we ended up finishing out the win at 27-25.”

When it came to the third match of the day, McPherson never gave Valley Center a chance and dominated them in straight sets, 25-9 and 25-13.

The Lady Bullpups finished out the day with a comfortable 25-17 first set win over Garden City before holding on in the second set for a three-point, 25-22 win to finish the day at 4-0 overall.

Dominating their way for most of the day was the dynamic duo of Rhian Swanson and Katie Berg who scored 54 and 33 kills between them against all the opposing defenses.

Recording a team-high 80 assists in setting up the offense for the day was Brette Doile, while Taylor Casebeer, Lauren Labertew, and Ella Schmid each supplied their own firepower to the wins with how they were digging.

Coach Doile concluded her post tournament reflections by saying, “(Katie) Berg and (Rhian) Swanson carried us offensively on the day. When we were in system, they were very effective in finishing out plays for us. It was a great team effort as our defense did a great job of digging and keeping rallies alive. Our serving overall was steady and that is always a positive statistic.”

Next up for the Lady Bullpup spikers will be a road trip to Andale on Tuesday, September 1.

{McPherson Bullpup Activity Postings are SPONSORED by CrossDove Creations}

{Follow the Bullpups throughout the season at www.mcpherson-county-ks.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/}