FRONTENAC — Things haven’t gotten any easier for the Frontenac High School volleyball team, which lost to Labette County in four sets on Monday after a tough weekend tournament.
The Raiders bounced back from a 25-9 loss in the opening set to take the second 25-21, but went on to lose the third and fourth sets 25-21 and 25-19 respectively.
“We did a lot more positive things today than we did over the weekend,” FHS head coach Cassie Rhuems said. “We still made too many mistakes, but a lot of it is just motivation to go get the ball. I need them to start thinking that every ball is theirs and not hesitate. Once we stop hesitating, we’re going to stop losing more points and start making more plays that we’re not making now. Tristan Gegg is a great player for them and we had a hard time slowing her down, but we did a lot more positive things than we did on Saturday and that’s a good thing to take into practice tomorrow.”
It was a rough start to the game for Frontenac, losing 25-9 in the first set, but a 25-21 win in the second set got the Raiders right back in it.
The Grizzlies drew first blood in the second set, but a kill by Reagen Hipfl tied the score and swung the momentum in the Raiders’ favor.
LCHS took a one-point advantage with back-to-back points, but the Raiders regained the lead at 7-6 on the strength of a trio of kills from Karma Fields, Macy Kotzman and Hipfl.
Frontenac went on to extend the lead to 15-10 on the strength of an 8-2 run, which was highlighted by an ace from Bailey Rhuems and kills from Hipfl, Madison Davis and Fields.
Both teams were matching each other point-for-point, before Labette County pulled to within three at 23-20 with a 5-2 run to force a Frontenac time out.
The break was just what the Raiders needed, as a kill by Fields got them back on track before closing out the win at 25-21.
Frontenac came out strong in the third set, scoring the first point on a kill by Bria Ginavan, but the Grizzlies responded with a 7-3 run to take the lead at 7-4.
Kotzman ended Labette County's run with a kill, which sparked an 8-3 run by the Raiders to give them the lead at 12-10.
LCHS regained the lead at 16-15, before a kill by Hipfl evened the score at 16-all.
The Raiders took the lead for a final time at 20-19 on an ace by Hipfl, but the Grizzlies went on to outscore them 6-1 down the stretch to get the win.
Frontenac trailed nearly the entire fourth set, but stayed to within striking distance, as a 5-3 run narrowed a four-point deficit to 16-14.
The run was highlighted by an ace from Ginavan and included a kill by Hipfl.
LCHS responded with an 8-2 run to extend the lead to 24-16 and held on to win 25-19.
“I think we could still put out a little more effort,” Cassie Rhuems said. “However, I thought they had a little better attitude tonight and I liked our energy. My expectation for this group is high and I want them to buy in. Once they start giving maximum effort with the attitude they had tonight, I think they’re going to be a lot better than they ever thought they could be.”
The Raiders will compete in a tournament at Pittsburg High School at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.