CHAPMAN – After recognizing and thanking five senior starters, the Chapman Lady Irish volleyball team held off Clay Center to win two North Central Kansas League matches to claim a share of the league title with Abilene.

Chapman defeated the Lady Tigers 25-21, 27-25 in the first match and then came back with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 win in match number two to finish league dual play at 8-2.

Irish seniors Courtney Lewis, Emma Elliott, McKenna Kirkpatrick, Ashlynn Bledsoe and Peyton Suther wrapped up their regular season home schedule as they draw close to post-season play.

Kirkpatrick led the hitting attack against Clay Center as she slammed 35 kills in the five sets. She hit at .412 percent efficiency on Tuesday. Kirkpatrick also led the squad with three aces from the service line. She finished with six blocks, 15 digs and two assists in the match.

Lewis had seven blocks from the middle blocker position and she popped over five kills. She collected seven digs and two aces.

Bledsoe led in digs with 28 and she slammed 13 kills. On the front line she also had five blocks while giving two assists and she served up an ace for the home team.

Suther passed around 64 assists from her setter position and she had 19 digs. She accounted for six kills, three blocks and a pair of aces at the service line.

Elliott ended with three digs, two blocks, two aces and one assist.

Junior Libero Brayden Ash had 21 digs and three assists while junior Macy Bliss had an assist in limited play. Freshman Maya Kirkpatrick had four kills, two blocks, four digs and an assist. Freshman Sophia Cavanaugh finished with 11 kills, five blocks and one dig.

Chapman returns to action next Tuesday when it competes against Smoky Valley and Nickerson in the Smoky Valley Triangular. Currently the Irish (20-8) sets in third place in the Class 4A West division-seeding race. They have as .714 win/loss percent behind Andale at .967 and Circle at .800. The top four teams will host sub-states on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Fighting for the fourth spot is Holton at .677, Nickerson .667, Abilene .625 and Buhler at .621. Holton has two matches with Jefferson West left on its schedule. Nickerson is at Smoky Valley next week while Abilene has the Abilene Invitational Tournament on Saturday to complete its schedule. Buhler (18-11) will be at the Abilene Tournament this weekend and then has matches against Rose Hill and Wichita Collegiate on Tuesday.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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