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Lady Cats get back on winning track at Bonner Springs

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg junior Haley Cain goes up for a kill during the Lady Cats’ Frontier League dual Thursday at Bonner Springs High School. The Lady Cats stayed perfect in the league with a 3-0 win over the Braves.

 

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BONNER SPRINGS – Ever since its season opening win over Paola, the Louisburg High School volleyball team has been missing a little something.

Since that time, the Lady Cats have gone 2-3 in their last five matches and something hasn’t seemed right to head coach Jessica Compliment. Her team just wasn’t the same.

“The last week-and-a-half we have benn missing a little bit of energy and fire,” Compliment said. “We came out with so much energy in our first match of the season against Paola, and then we seemed to lose some of that excitement. We have struggled a little bit since then and I told the girls that we need to find the fun in the game.”

The Lady Cats definitely had fun Thursday.

Louisburg traveled to Bonner Springs for a Frontier League dual and the Lady Cats seemed to get some of that fire back as they rolled the Braves in a 25-13, 25-20 and 25-18 win to move to 2-0 in league play and 4-3 overall.

“I think overall we did pretty well,” Compliment said. “We were able to get some of that excitement back against Bonner and it showed. We were having fun again, we were playing together and trusting each other.”

Serving was a big factor for the Lady Cats on Thursday as they tallied 14 aces on the night and had an 89 percent serving percentage. Louisburg was able to go on big runs in each of the three sets thanks to their strong serving.

Riley Kallevig got it started as she served five straight points to give Louisburg a 15-8 lead in the first set behind kills from Anna Dixon, Carson Buffington and Haley Cain.

Davis Guetterman kept going as she served seven straight points of her own late in the match, including three aces, to help give the Lady Cats a 23-10 advantage and would eventually ease to a win in the first set.

Freshman Davis Guetterman goes up for a serve Thursday at Bonner Springs.

“We have been trying to clean up our serves again and be more consistent,” Compliment said. “We have been serving aggressive and getting a lot of aces, but at the same time we have been missing some key serves. We did a lot better job of that as several girls went on big runs. I thought Davis found her serve and I think the whole team did a good job of that.”

It was Dixon’s turn in the second set as she reeled off five straight points from behind the service line, including three aces, to give the Lady Cats a 12-6 advantage. When Bonner Springs tried to creep back in it, Louisburg answered as Kallevig reeled off another five points, including three aces. Carleigh Pritchard and Dixon finished off the set with three straight kills.

Cain got Louisburg off to another big lead in the third set with six straight points before Bonner Springs got back into the match and trimmed an 11-3 Louisburg advantage to just one. The Lady Cats kept the Braves at arm’s length the rest of the way to get the sweep.

Dixon had a big day at the net with a team-high 17 kills, while Buffington finished with five and Cain added four. Dixon and Kallevig tied a team-high with four aces. Guetterman and Cain added three and two aces, respectively.

Kallevig also had a big day defensively with 11 digs and libero Reilly Ratliff-Becher finished with six of her own.

Sophomore Carleigh Pritchard sends the ball over the net for a point Thursday at Bonner Springs High School.

Rinny McMullen and Guetterman ran the offense well for Louisburg. McMullen had a team-high 15 assists in the three sets and Guetterman also reached double figures with 10.

The competition will heat up again for Louisburg on Saturday when the Lady Cats travel to the Lansing Invitational. Louisburg will start with pool play against Lansing, Piper, Olathe West and Shawnee Mission West at 9 a.m. Lansing is currently ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, while the Lady Cats are No. 3 in 4A.

“I think the girls are looking forward to playing Lansing because they know they are good competition and they are a good team that we try to beat every year,” Compliment said. “I really like the competition level of the tournament. De Soto and Basehor-Linwood are on the other side and I think the girls would like a rematch against De Soto after losing to them earlier in the year. It will be a fun day and we need to come ready to play.”

 

LADY CATS SPLIT ON THE ROAD AT BURLINGTON

On Tuesday, Louisburg made the long bus ride to Burlington to compete in a triangular with Santa Fe Trail and Burlington – both teams who were ranked in their specific classes at the time.

The Lady Cats had a difficult time with both teams, but were able to get one win. Despite falling in the first set, 25-23, to Santa Fe Trail, the Lady Cats responded nicely with a pair of 25-15 victories to defeat the Chargers, 2-1.

Louisburg had a little tougher time with Burlington, which was ranked No. 2 in Class 3A. The Lady Cats won the first set 28-26, but couldn’t get another win as Burlington stole the next two, 25-23 and 25-22.

“Burlington played really, really well,” Louisburg coach Jessica Compliment said. “We lost our focus and we made a lot of unforced errors on our side and Burlington was able to capitalize on those. We had too many missed serves, we had miscommunication on serve receive and we had a lot of net fouls. I think the girls just got frustrated, and instead of refocusing, we just couldn’t find our game and Burlington played really well.”

Senior Anna Dixon was a force at the net with 18 kills against Burlington, while Cain finished with five. Freshman setter Rinny McMullen had 19 assists for the match and freshman teammate Davis Guetterman had 14.

Junior libero Reilly-Ratliff Becher had 13 digs to lead the Louisburg defense.

Against Santa Fe Trail, Dixon once again led Louisburg with 14 kills and junior Riley Kallevig was second on the team with four. Guetterman finished with 14 assists to lead Louisburg and McMullen was second with nine.

Dixon also led the Louisburg defense with 16 digs, while Ratliff-Becher and Guetterman each added seven.

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