Cards slip in tight match
The Eudora High School volleyball team would probably like to erase late September from its memories. Since that isn't possible, the Cardinals will look to regroup as they suffered their third loss in a little over a week as they were defeated by West Franklin, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, in the semifinal round Saturday at the Wellsville Invitational.
"We just had a lot of hitting mistakes again," Eudora volleyball coach Jill Stutler said. "Passing wasn't as crisp as what it needed to be. It is a roller coaster ride from game to game from our effort level to our execution. I saw more aggressiveness out of some players, but as a whole, it wasn't as consistent as it needed to be."
The Cardinals moved to 17-3 overall and will have an entire week off before heading east to participate in the De Soto Spike Fest Saturday.
"This weekend is going to be a very tough tournament at De Soto, but we are just concerned about ourselves right now," Stutler said. "We are trying to fix what we need to fix. We are not concerned with who we are playing. We just need to focus on what we are not doing right."
Eudora cruised in its first match of the day as it defeated Waverly, 25-18, 25-14. It didn't take long, though, for the Cardinals to run into a wall as it took three games to defeat Wellsville, 15-25, 25-20, 25-20.
"We started off well with Waverly and played extremely well in every aspect of the game," Stutler said. "But, our first games in a lot of our matches we have a very slow start. We play from behind or get ourselves in two big of a gap and couldn't come back and get the win in the first game. The second game, we played better and executed better."
EHS was able to clean things up again in its third match with a two-game sweep over Kansas City Christian, 25-18, 25-10. The win propelled Eudora into the semifinal round with just one more win putting the team into the championship contest.
The semifinal round pitted the Cardinals again West Franklin, a team EHS had was swept at home earlier in the season. However, the court belonged to the Eagles as they knocked off Eudora en route to a spot in the championship contest.
"West Franklin was scrappy," Stutler said. "We would get in a lot of situations where we would get the back and have a missed serve or make a silly mistake that was not a hitting error. We just need to minimize those type of things and hopefully we will be okay."
Eudora rebounded, though. The Cardinals were able to collect a third-place finish after defeating Osage City again, this time in just two games, 25-14, 25-17.
As the team struggled to get into October, Stutler said some changes may be in store for her team.
"We're not getting the intensity and drive we need to throughout practice and throughout matches," Stutler said. "We are working on that. We are trying to shake some things up and see if that will start a fire in them.
"We've got to do things now. We can't wait till the next game to do them because we are not always going to be guaranteed that next game."
Nikki Snider led the team in kills with 82 while also logging 48 digs and 10 service aces. Haley Epperson was solid at the net as she finished with a team-high 11 blocks.
Setter Mariah Webb collected 137 assist, including 9.13 per game. Kayci Vickers led the way in digs with 59.