ROSSVILLE – The Abilene Cowgirls playing some of their best volleyball of the season placed second in the always-tough Rossville Tournament on Saturday.
The Cowgirls, playing without senior captain Beth Holmes due to injury, finished 3-1 in pool play and then knocked off Ottawa in two sets in the semi-finals to meet up with Silver Lake in the championship match. Silver Lake won the match over the Cowgirls 27-25, 25-19.
“Playing without Beth was a big adjustment for the team,” Abilene head coach Jade Koch said. “ Beth had been our only setter running a 5-1 offense for most of the season. She is our captain as voted by the players and she has been the leader on the court this season.
“Olivia Howie and Taya Hoerner stepped up and shared the responsibility of setting and did an excellent job,” Koch said. “The team responded well to the changes we had to make and played the best they have all season.”
In pool play, the Cowgirls defeated Osage City (25-22 and 25-22), lost to Rossville (21-25 and 19-25), defeated Holton (25-17 and 25-17) and defeated Clay Center (25-14 and 25-15)
Koch said the Cowgirls first two matches of the day against Osage City and Rossville were pretty sloppy but that they came back and finished off the day with four solid performances.
“I couldn’t be more prouder of the team,” Koch said. “We came into the tournament a 2-8 team, because the girls struggled to finish matches and play together as a team. Our hitters have also struggled to keep the ball in play. But, the girls figured out exactly how to finish and how to be smarter on offense in the match against Holton and then that confidence carried over into the rest of the day.”
Koch recognized senior Chesney Sprinike, who played with a sore right shoulder, for leading the team with 36 kills out of 124 attempts. Autumn Fitzgerald had 28 kills and Emma Wildman had 24 on the day. Wildman had nine blocks in the tournament while Jenna Hayes had five.
Senior Libero Makenna McGivney had 39 digs on the day with Fitzgerald having 19.
“We played against some really great hitters and our back row dug up a lot of ball,” the coach said. “It was a team effort today and the girls had to overcome adversity. I could not be more prouder of their efforts today and am excited to see them continue to improve each week.”
Next up for the Cowgirls is a NCKL matchup with the eighth ranked Chapman Lady Irish on Thursday in Abilene.
Cowgirls’ stats from Rossville:
Autumn Fitzgeralds: six aces, 28 kills, 1 block and 19 digs. Chesney Sprinkle: 36 kills, three blocks and one dig. Emma Wildman: two aces, 24 kills, nine blocks and two digs. Jenna Hayes: four aces, 18 kills, five blocks and four digs. Joy Clemence: three aces and 14 digs. Makeena McGivney: three aces, seven assists and 39 digs. Olivia Crist: two kills. Olivia Howie: two Aces, one kill. 43 assists and one dig. Reagan Ditto: two Aces, 19 kills and two block assists. Taya Hoerner: seven kills, 63 assists and three digs.
Holton defeats Rossville 25-21, 25-16
Abilene defeats Osage City 25-21, 25-22
Rossville defeats Abilene 25-21, 25-15
Holton defeats Clay Center 25-14, 25-17
Rossville defeats Clay Center 25-17, 25-16
Holton defeats Osage City 25-14, 25-16
Abilene defeats Holton 25-17, 25-17
Osage City defeats Clay center 25-23, 25-21
Rossville defeats Osage City 22-25, 25-17, 25-18
Abilene defeats Clay Center 25-14, 25-15
Silver Lake defeats Wamego 25-14, 25-20
Ottawa defeats Tonganoxie 22-25, 25-17, 25-23
Silver Lake defeats Tonganoxie 25-18, 23-25, 25-14
Wamego defeats El Dorado 18-25, 25-14, 25-17
Silver Lake defeats El Dorado 26-24, 25-15
Ottawa defeats Wamego 21-25, 25-19, 25-19
Wamego defeats Tonganoxie 25-20, 27-25
Ottawa defeats El Dorado 15-25, 25-22, 25-22
Silver Lake defeats Ottawa 20-25, 25-18, 25-13
Tonganoxie defeats El Dorado 25-22, 17-25, 26-24
El Dorado defeats Clay Center 25-16, 25-12
Tonganoxie defeats Osage City 25-18, 25-20
Wamego defeats Rossville 16-25, 25-10, 25-23
Abilene defeats Ottawa 25-16, 25-23
Silver Lake defeats Holton 25-14, 25-17
Holton defeats Ottawa 17-25, 25-23, 25-19
Silver Lake defeats Abilene 27-25, 25-19