Seniors stabilize young squad
Eudora wins first set
Eudora High School senior volleyball players Nicole Born, Mallorie Cleveland, Jenny Durkin, and Tina Lauber played in their final home games Tuesday at Eudora High School.
Eudora coach Jill Stutler said the senior class provided a lot of stability for the otherwise young squad. Cleveland joined the squad this season and has already become a key contributor, Stutler said.
"Cleveland has stepped up into a role and did a tremendous job for us as a setter," Stutler. "The other three have been solid leaders since the first day I got them."
The Cards (17-8) (4-3) opened their home finale against Prairie View. Eudora won the first set 15-10 and held a 14-13 lead in the second set. The scrappy Buffaloes rallied, defeating Eudora 16-14. In the third and final set, the Cards lacked communication and watched Prairie View score nine unanswered points in a 15-5 victory.
"We need to do a better job of finishing it," Stutler said of the Prairie View loss. "We talked about the things we needed to do. Once we controlled the ball on our side of the court, we were fine."
In the second game, the Cardinals opened up a 9-0 lead over Osawatomie with Durkin serving the ball. However, the Trojans gained some momentum, holding a 13-12 advantage of their own. The Cards benefited from a pair of Osawatomie errors and won the set 15-13. Eudora cruised to a 15-9 victory in the second set.
"It was very frustrating," Stutler said of the first set. "We hung our heads too much and we should have rebounded quicker from our mistakes."
Born, Durkin, and junior Lauren Kracl all played their best games of the night as Eudora soundly defeated Louisburg 15-6, 15-5.
Junior varsity coach Anna Sobba coached the varsity Cardinals to a second-place finish at the Wellsville Tournament Saturday. The Cardinals also finished second at the McLouth Tournament earlier this season.
"Lauren Kracl was our solid hitter for the day but everyone was hitting well and blocking well which made it a team effort," Sobba said. "They worked together to come out of the tournament with a second-place finish."
The Cards defeated Girard 15-9, 15-10 in the first game of pool play before pounding Pomona 15-7, 15-4. Eudora defeated Osage City 15-11, 15-7 but fell to Anderson County, a team the Cardinals had defeated in two sets 16-18, 15-9, 11-15, Oct. 1. Anderson County ended the Cardinals' longest winning streak.
The Cards met both of their archrivals in the playoff round of the tournament. Eudora defeated Wellsville for the second time this season 12-15, 15-9, 15-10 and lost to Baldwin, a team it defeated in league play four days earlier, 6-15, 15-8, 6-15 in the championship game.
Kracl led the Cards with 91 kills in six games while Kracl and Lauber each have .4 aces per game.
Because of the Wellsville tournament and Tuesday's league quadrangular, the Cards played nine games in four days.
Durkin, who has qualified for the state track and field meet three times, said she and the rest of the Cardinals were hungry for a trip to Salina, the site of the class 4A state volleyball tournament.
"I think we can do really good we believe we can make it to state and that's our goal," Durkin said. "I think we get along better and we work well as a team."
Durkin, who is looking to compete at Emporia State or Pittsburg State for track and field, said the all-day tournaments will prepare the Cards for sub-state competition.
"On the normal day we only play two or three a night," Durkin said. "At those we play six a night, which will get us prepared for sub-state."
Eudora will have an entire week off before it faces Spring Hill and Wellsville in the league finale Tuesday at Wellsville High School.
"We needed that to deal with that kind of adversity," Stutler said of playing nine games in four days. "From what I've seen of results from Spring Hill, they're going to be good, and Wellsville definitely cannot be taken for granted."
After the league finale, the Cards will compete in the Perry-Lecompton tournament Oct. 19 before sub-state playoffs Oct. 26 at Tonganoxie.