Volleyball: Kapaun beats cross-state rival for Maize tourney crown
MAIZE Bishop Mieges volleyball team left an impression on Kapaun Mount Carmel last year when it defeated the Crusaders at the Class 5A tournament.
With a team of nine seniors, that memory was still clear. But Kapaun got its revenge Saturday when it defeated Miege 25-20, 26-28, 25-15 in the championship match of the Maize Invitational.
It was a really important game for us, because they beat us twice at state last year, Kapaun senior Gabby Torline said. I just wanted this so badly for my team.
With Miege being a team Kapaun could see again at the state tournament, Kapaun coach Terri Hessman was happy to see the Stags in the championship match.
It was great to get to see them early so we know what they have, Hessman said. I think we proved ourselves defensively today, which weve been struggling with, so we played much better defense today and we know we can build on that now.
Kapaun trailed Miege for most of the first set, but took and kept a lead after four straight points, putting Kapaun up 21-18. Torline finished off the set with three straight kills.
Kapaun and Miege were within two points in a back-and-forth second set until the Crusaders scored six straight points, including two blocks from Sydney Kuhn and two service aces from Torline for a 24-21 lead. But Miege answered with three straight kills to tie the match at 24. Kapaun and Miege went back and forth for the next three points, and the Stags took the last three points to win the set.
We have a lot of desire to win. They were ready to fight, fight, fight, Hessman said. I think you have to have a short memory there, just get rid of it and move on.
Experience helped the Crusaders quickly forget the second set. Kapaun took a 5-4 lead early in the set, and never looked back, winning by 10. Torline led the set with four kills and a block assist, followed by Kuhns three kills and one block assist, and Audrey Grants three kills and one block assist.
Kapauns Liz Dwyer came alive in the third set with two block assists, a solo block and a kill.
Were very, very young. We just have to do things well, Miege coach Gwen Pike said. Were not a huge team, so weve got to pass extremely well, serve extremely well, those two things are No. 1 for us. If we dont do that close to perfection against a team like that with some guns on them, its really hard to defend.
Kapauns Grant finished with 11 kills and one block assist, Torline added 10 kills, two service aces and a block assist, while Wesley Crowdus and Austyn Ames carried the team in assists with 18 and 15.
Semifinals Kapaun def. Garden City 25-18, 25-15; Miege def. Derby 25-14, 25-21.
Finals First, Kapaun def. Miege 25-20, 26-28, 25-15; Third, Derby def. Garden City 25-18, 25-15; Fifth, Newton def. Maize 11-25, 25-23, 25-19; Seventh, Hutchinson def. Northwest 25-23, 25-21.