HOPE/WHITE CITY – The Rural Vista Heat volleyball team posting a 38-4 record are headed to the Class 1A State Volleyball Championships for the first time in program history.
Winning the Wheat State League regular season title, the Heat were winners of the Class 1A regional tournament to earn a number one seed at the sub-state in Centralia on Saturday.
In the first match the Heat took down Valley Falls in two sets, 25-23, 25-13.
“Valley Falls has one of the best players in the state,” Heat head coach Adam Sobba said. “We knew going into the match that controlling her would be a key for us.”
Early in the match, led by Kelci Sly, Amber Brockmeier and Cami Jacobson, the Lady Heat were able to get a lot of touches to help slow her down according to coach Sobba.
The first set was a game of runs, as Rural Vista extended a small lead before Valley Falls closed the gap. In the end, Rural Vista was just able to make more plays and came away with a two-set win.
“I think winning the first set really took a lot of pressure off of us and it allowed us to loosen up a little bit for the second set,” Sobba said.
Rural Vista used great defense and tough serving to keep Valley Falls off balance the entire set taking the win 25-23. Seniors Hannah Riedy and Holly Brockmeier led the way for the Heat with nine kills each while Meghan Brockmeier chipped in four of her own. Jacobson and Holly Brockmeier each had nine digs in the match to lead the way for the Heat.
They Heat met up with Frankfort in the championship and won in three sets 25-21, 15-25, 25-15.
The first set was back and forth the entire game with the Heat eventually winning 25-21.
“I thought we handled ourselves very well during the first set,” Sobba said. “There were definitely some nerves from both teams. The second set we did not handle those nerves very well. I thought there were some close calls that went against us that swung the momentum and we could never recover from that.”
In the third and deciding set things stayed close and with the score sitting at 13-12, Rural Vista put together a 12-3 run to win the set and the match.
“It was a back and forth game early and then Meghan Brockmeier rotated to the outside hitting spot and took over the game,” Sobba said. “Meghan had four kills during a six point stretch for the Heat helping to run away from Frankfort.”
“Overall we played really well,” the coach added. “I have talked all year about how tough this team is and they proved that true once again. After the second set we just came together and played as a team and that’s all it took.”
Riedy led the Heat with 12 kills while Holly Brockmeier had nine and Meghan Brockmeier had eight. Amber Brockmeier had 14 assists and nine digs. Riedy also had 11 assists in the match. Holly Brockmeier led the team with 11 digs while Amber Brockmeier had nine and Sly had eight.
The Heat will advance to the state tournament for the first time since the Co-Op started and Rural Vista earned the number one overall seed for the tournament. Pool play begins Friday with Rural Vista taking on number eight Victoria (23-13) at 9:30 a.m. at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City.
Class 1A State Tournament
#4 Minneola (32-8) vs. #5 Olpe (31-10) – 8:30 a.m.
#1 Rural Vista (38-4) vs. #8 Victoria (23-23) – 9:30
#4 Minneola vs. #8 Victoria – 10:30
#1 Rural Vista vs. #5 Olpe – 11:30
#5 Olpe vs. #8 Victoria – 12:30 p.m.
#1 Rural Vista vs. #4 Minneola – 1:30 p.m.
#3 Cunningham (38-5) vs. #6 Clifton-Clyde (30-11) – 8:30 a.m.
#2 Chetopa (38-5) vs. #7 Central Plains (29-11) – 9:30
#3 Cunningham vs. #7 Central Plains – 10:30
#2 Chetopa vs. #6 Clifton-Clyde – 11:30
#6 Clifton-Clyde vs. #7 Central Plains – 12:30 p.m.
#2 Chetopa vs. #3 Cunningham – 1:30 p.m.
Bracket play begins at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.