It has been a tradition over the last few years that a pair of the top volleyball programs in southeast Kansas square off to open the season.

It has been a tradition over the last few years that a pair of the top volleyball programs in southeast Kansas square off to open the season.


Saturday at the Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium was no different as Girard — the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League defending champion — squared off with Pittsburg — the defending Southeast Kansas League champion.


It was Girard that got the upper hand in a 25-16, 25-20 win, but not without bumps along the way.


“We wanted to keep them on their heels and I think we did a decent job of that,” said Girard head coach Dale Coomes. “Conversely, they did a good job of slowing us down as well.”


Senior Carly Twarog led Girard with four kills in each game against Pittsburg while Haley Brown came through with five kills in the first game.


“We just didn’t counter their attack very well in the first game,” said Pittsburg head coach Mary Packard.


But, in the second game, the Dragons worked out their kinks and took Girard the distance before the Trojans were able to put the game — and the match — away.


Pittsburg senior Jessica Wade led the Dragons with five kills while fellow senior Kristina Willis had four kills and six blocks. Kathryn Montague added three kills to the Dragons’ tally.


“Our passes the first game were short and our sets were coming behind us,” Packard said. “We worked on that throughout the day.”


For more on this story, see Saturday's issue of The Morning Sun.