ROSSVILLE – The Abilene Cowgirls volleyball team placed second in the Rossville Tournament Saturday. Abilene tied Wamego and Circle for first place with 3-1 records in pool play. Abilene finished first by the tiebreaker percentage of games won on the day, 7-3, to Wamego’s, 6-2, and Circle’s, 6-3.
The Cowgirls began the day playing a touch match against the Lady Thunderbirds of Circle High School.
Circle defeated the Cowgirls in three sets, 24-26, 25-20, 23-25.
“We had chances to win but couldn’t close it out,” Abilene Coach Mike Jantz said. “We were ahead 23-21 in the final set and gave up four straight points.”
The Cowgirls rebounded with a great match against the No. 5 ranked team in Class 4A, the Wamego Red Raiders. The Cowgirls defeated Wamego in straight sets, 29-27, 25-21 in a high caliber match of the second round.
“It was a fun match to coach,” Jantz said. “It was also a fun match to watch as both teams pounded the ball and played hard.”
After defeating Wamego, the Cowgirls advanced to third round to win easily over Oskaloosa, 25-4, 25-3.
“In the big win against Wamego I felt like everyone raised their level of play but especially outside hitters Jessica Hayes and Hailey Devine,” Jantz said. “They did a great job of mixing power and off speed hits to keep the big block and defense of Wamego guessing.”
They then faced Tonganoxie and won in straight sets, 25-19, 25-21 to advance to the championship semi-finals where they played Ottawa, who was the second place finisher from the second pool of teams.
The Cowgirls struggled early and got down big in game one but battled back only to drop the first set, 19-25, to the Cyclones.
Abilene came back strong to win the second and third sets, 25-17, 25-17 to advance to the championship match.
In the championship match, the Cowgirls face the Red Raiders of Wamego for a second time on the day as Wamego defeated Clay Center in the other semi-final match to advance to play Abilene.
It was another good match but Wamego was able to come out on top, 22-25, 25-27, to win the championship match. The Cowgirls finished as runners-up in the tourney.
“Courtney Geist had a great tournament,” Jantz said. “As our setter, she is involved in every play and has done a great job of running the offense, especially when we struggle in serve receive and her job becomes much more difficult.”
“I am pleased with the progress we are showing as a team,” Jantz said. “We had much better performance than our last time out.
“The win against Wamego was a big win and should give the girls confidence and motivation to get into the gym and get even better.
“Although we lost in the championship, it was a very close match and a point here or there would have changed the outcome.”
“I am very proud of the effort and fight that the girls showed throughout the day and how we are progressing as a team,” Jantz concluded.
The Cowgirls will host Marysville Thursday Sept. 26 in the AHS gym.