FRONTENAC — Pink filled the gymnasium on Thursday at Frontenac High School, where the Raiders’ volleyball team defeated Parsons (2-1) and Southeast (2-0) on a night which was dedicated to raising funds for cancer patients.
“I’m really pleased with the girls,” FHS head coach Cassie Rhuems said. “I thought we really put it all together and did a lot of really good things. We were passing well, setting well and we were finally putting the ball down with more regularity. I just really saw them mesh well tonight and really start to play for each other, which was the piece we’ve been missing. We just keep drilling those things in practice and we got to see it all in action tonight. It was great for the girls.”
In addition to the pink-out night, the Raiders took time in between games to recognize their seniors.
The Frontenac seniors are Maia McManis, Katelin Randall, Macy Kotzman and Taylor Peterson.
“These seniors have waited a long time to be apart of this,” Rhuems said. “They followed a huge group of 10 seniors from last year, so they were just ready to have their turn. They did a great job tonight and they all had a large part in the win. We’re going to do the best we can to get them to where they want to be before they leave the program.”
Things didn’t go as well for the Lancers, as they lost to Parsons 2-1 before going on to lose against Frontenac.
“I saw some good things,” SHS head coach Maya White said. “I think our second set against Parsons was actually pretty good. We were all clicking and meshing well. Katie Bitner really stepped up that game, so I saw some good things. Megan Colvin did a good job of playing defense and Sailor Jackson did an excellent job of hitting, but we have been inconsistent.”
RAIDERS DOWN VIKINGS
A hot start by the Raiders led them to a 2-1 victory over Parsons to begin the night, winning the first set 25-16, losing the second set 25-18 and winning the third set 25-16.
“They have a few really good hitters who jump well, and that’s tough to defend when you don’t have the same vertical, but I thought we did a good job defensively,” Rhuems said. “We kept the ball out of their best hitter’s hands as much as possible, but I thought the biggest positive from the game was our defense. I thought we played defense really well, dug a lot of balls and gave ourselves second chances to put the ball down.”
The Raiders hit the ground running and jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead in the opening set.
Frontenac’s run was highlighted by a pair of aces from Bria Ginavan and Madison Davis and included kills from Ginavan, Reagen Hipfl and Karma Fields.
Parsons cut the deficit to six, but five consecutive points by the Raiders increased the lead to 16-5 and forced the Vikings into a timeout.
The five unanswered points began with a kill by Hipfl and included an ace by Jadyn Meyer and a pair of kills from Ginavan.
Back-to-back kills led to six consecutive points for the Vikings, but the Raiders responded with six straight points of the own — with help from two kills by Davis and two aces by Gracen Hipfl — to push the score to 22-11.
Parsons inched closer with a 5-1 run, but the Raiders closed out the win, scoring the set-winning point on a kill by Reagen Hipfl.
After losing the second set 25-18, the Raiders took set three 25-16 to get the win.
Another quick start for Frontenac saw the Raiders jump out to a 13-5 lead to begin the set.
The run was highlighted by three aces from Davis and included kills by Gracen Hipfl and Fields.
The Vikings pulled to within four points of the lead to force a Frontenac timeout, but the Raiders came alive after the break, outscoring Parsons 11-6 to close out the win.
RAIDERS SWEEP LANCERS
Frontenac kept the momentum going in the second match, winning 25-22 and 25-12 to sweep Southeast.
“They beat us in three sets last week, so for us to beat them in two tonight was a confidence builder for the girls,” Rhuems said. “They just get to see that the reps and all the work during practice is paying off. They’re getting a little more confident and smarter with the ball, so I think this team is only going to get better from here.”
Gracen Hipfl got the offensive momentum going with an ace to begin the opening set, which sparked a 7-1 run to put the Raiders in front.
The Lancers rallied back to score four consecutive points — with one coming from a kill by Taylor Myrick — to come to within 7-5.
Frontenac regained momentum on a kill by Davis and extended the lead to 15-6, with two more kills coming from Davis.
The Raiders continued to maintain distance from Southeast, but a 6-1 run by the Lancers narrowed the gap to 21-19.
The run was highlighted by a pair of kills from Sailor Jackson and included a kill by Taylor Myrick.
Another kill by Jackson, a kill by Saydi Sullivan and a combined block by Laura Ridings brought the Lancers to within two of the lead, but the Raiders managed to hang on for the win.
Six unanswered points by the Lancers in the early going of the second set gave them an early lead at 7-4, as Sullivan tallied two aces and Jackson notched a couple of kills.
The 6-0 run forced a Frontenac timeout, which worked out for the Raiders, as they came out of the break refocused.
Davis earned the Raiders back-to-back points on a kill and an ace following the break, as they went on outscore the Lancers 19-5 to earn the win.
Davis went on to tally five more kills, while Fields and Reagen Hipfl each had one apiece and Maia McManis cashed in with an ace.
VIKINGS EDGE LANCERS
Prior to the loss against Frontenac, the Lancers began the night with a 2-1 loss to the Vikings.
“We just need to put it together,” White said. “We just didn’t play loose and under control, but we’ll definitely be working on that in practice. Hopefully, this lights a fire and gets us going.”
The Lancers bounced back from a 25-21 loss in set one to win 25-15 in the second set, but lost the deciding third set 25-21.
In Southeast’s win, the Lancers began the set by jumping ahead at 4-1 with help from a kill by Bitner.
Bitner went on to earn another kill and an ace to help lift SHS to an 8-3.
The Vikings narrowed the deficit to 9-6, but a 7-1 run by Southeast increased the lead to 16-7.
The run was highlighted by an ace from Daisy Burns and included kills by Myrick and Bitner.
Parsons came back to within six points of the lead at 20-14, but the Lancers sealed the win with a 5-1 run.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.