Volleyball keeps domination dialed up
Tuesday was another night of wins for the Eudora Cardinal volleyball team at Central Heights.
The team swept a league quadrangular featuring Anderson County, Spring Hill and the host Vikings, but it wasn't the fire and brimstone dominance that has been on display in recent Cardinal outings.
"We didn't come ready to play tonight," coach Jill Stutler said. "We didn't have any enthusiasm, and we didn't have focus during our rotations, and honestly we were lucky to come away with the wins."
The Cardinals began the night against Anderson County and came away with a relatively easy win in the first game 25-17.
But it was in game two that things began to get away from the Cardinals.
Eudora had built a seemingly insurmountable 17-4 lead and were poised to bury the Bulldogs and move on.
But a sudden lack of poise and focus descended over the court as the Bulldogs ripped off 14 of the next 19 points to close the gap to 22-18.
The Cardinals looked confused for most of that stretch, before finally regrouping with some strong net play from sophomore Nikki Snider, grabbing a 25-19 win.
"That's the first time that we've allowed a team to come from that far behind," Stutler said.
The ability to put teams away has been a strong point of the Eudora squad throughout the year, but Tuesday's contest against Anderson County affected the night's other matches.
The Cardinals took to the court in their second match against Spring Hill.
Eudora had little problem with the Broncos overall, winning 25-17, 25-14. But as the game went on the Cardinals lacked a little bit of the fire.
With the exception of a devastating Erin Kracl kill late in the first match, most of the Cardinal points came from the net in the form of tips and blocks.
In the third match the Cardinals took on the Central Heights Vikings. The host team was winless throughout the night, and Eudora kept it that way with a 25-11, 25-15 victory.
The Cardinals regained a little bit of their fire in the early stages of game one, building a staggering 10-1 lead.
The stretch included strong play from Kracl, who had two of her 20 kills in the run, and more consistent play from senior setter Kelsey Epperson.
Epperson finished the night with 49 assists.
The Vikings never recovered from that opening blitz and never got as close as 11 points.
Game two was more of the same for the Cardinals as the team kept the home squad at arm's length for the entire match.
Eudora led by as many as nine throughout the game before finally getting the 10-point win.
But the seeming return to dominance against the Vikings still did not wash away the taste of the earlier struggles.
"We need to work on our work ethic and defense," Stutler said. "Our defense is not where it should be if we're going to go as far as we think we can."
Eudora racked up six more wins Saturday, cruising through the Wellsville tournament undefeated and unchallenged.
The Cardinals knocked off Pomona, Baldwin, Waverly, Williamsburg and Kansas City Metro Academy in ridiculous fashion, never surrendering more than 13 points in any game. They beat Baldwin 25-11 and 25-1, then handled Waverly 25-4 and 25-6.
Eudora beat Wellsville for the championship, knocking off the home team in three games, 25-12, 21-25 and 25-19.