EHS volleyball season ends at sub-state
The Eudora volleyball entered Saturday’s sub-state at Spring Hill with dreams of advancing to the state tournament after falling one win short last year.
But those dreams were dashed with a first round loss to Ottawa. The Cardinals entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and Ottawa was the No. 5 seed, but the Cardinals fell (17-25, 25-18, 23-25) and ended their season short of state.
“We didn’t play our best in the first game, were pretty scared, pretty timid,” Eudora volleyball coach Jill Stutler said. “We battled in the second game. We got our blocking going and got their two big girls out of the middle and started to play better defense and settled down.”
In the decisive third set, the Cardinals and Cyclones battled back-and-forth, and with Ottawa up 24-23, the Cardinals couldn’t complete the comeback.
“It came down to the wire,” Stutler said. “We had an opportunity and didn’t make the runs when we needed to make the runs.”
Ottawa advanced all the way to the championship match against No. 2 seed Paola. Paola beat Ottawa (25-19, 25-15) to earn a trip to state.
With the loss, Eudora’s three seniors Abby Mott, Alex Mott and Shea Lounsbury’s careers ended.
Ironically, Eudora beat Ottawa on its Senior Night earlier in the year, but injuries and illness slowed the Cardinals down the last month of the season.
“We all played hard,” Abby Mott said. “We all left it out on the court, and I’m thankful for the teammates that I’ve had. They (Ottawa) came out fired up, too, and put up a few more than we could.”
Eudora ended the season with a 16-19 overall record, but showed it could compete at a high level as evidenced by tough bouts against Bishop Ward, Paola and Gardner during the year.
“It’s like I told the kids, we fought hard on Saturday, and that’s all I ask from them on a daily basis,” Stutler said.
Next year, Eudora returns several players who played varsity minutes this season.
“The younger kids need to remember the feeling that they had on Saturday of disappointment and let them spark that drive in the offseason and get us ready for next year,” Stutler said.