Volleyball notes: Maize piling up victories
After the Maize volleyball team defeated Derby and Newton on Oct. 2 to wrap up the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division I title, coach Betsy Manning gave her team a day off from practice.
“Anytime you play really well, you don’t feel the same need to get back into the gym,” Manning said.
And Maize (22-8) had played well. The Eagles changed up their blocking schemes against Newton and Derby, forcing them to hit cross-court.
“We left it up to our back row to dig,” Manning said. “Our back row played out of their minds. The girls who get the credit are those who are putting the ball down. But I give all the credit to our defense; that’s what won it.”
Libero Lexi Hartzog had 21 digs against Newton, 26 against Derby. She has 443 digs.
“She runs the defense, she makes sure everyone is in the right spots,” Manning said. “Her stats back it up.”
Maize’s kills leaders are sophomore setter/hitter Keiryn Swenson (212 kills, 259 assists), senior setter/hitter Mary Kangas (133 kills, 439 assists) and senior outside Heather Engle (176 kills).
But Manning gives a nod to sophomore middle Daley Handy, a talented three-sport athlete who has been offered a scholarship from Kansas State basketball. She has 60 kills and 56 stuff blocks.
“She doesn’t get enough attention,” Manning said. “She’s just a blocking machine. She’s our go-to blocker. A block counts for the same amount of points and it’s a huge momentum swing.”
Sub-state volleyball — When the Kansas State High School Activities Association released classifications on Sept. 27, it affected Class 5A volleyball most noticeably.
Up moved 4A champion St. James into Class 5A, while Maize South also moved up to 5A.
Both schools are in tough sub-states, too.
Maize South will join Newton and Valley Center in the Newton sub-state, which will be seeded and split into two. Great Bend, Hays, Liberal, Salina Central and Salina South are also in the sub-state.
St. James is in the BV Southwest sub-state with Bishop Miege and St. Thomas Aquinas, who are ranked fourth and third in the most recent rankings from the coaches association.
Sub-state pairings will be released on Oct. 17, with sub-states on Oct. 20.
Matches to watch — Northwest and Carroll will play at Southeast on Tuesday. Carroll’s lone City League loss was to Northwest, which has lost three to Kapaun Mount Carmel, two in league play.
Rose Hill and Clearwater are at Mulvane on Tuesday, while Andover Central and Goddard are at Andover. Trinity and Cheney are at Bluestem.
On Thursday, Kapaun is at Carroll in a rematch of Kapaun’s only City League loss.