Eagles bow out of 2A state in pool play

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

HAYS — Uniontown High’s Eagles won the opening set of their stay in the 2009 Kansas Class 2A State Volleyball Tournament last Friday.
The Eagles took the first set against eventual state champion Moundridge in pool play Friday. Moundridge won the match 24-26, 27-25, 25-12.
Uniontown (31-12) went 1-2, which was a big step forward for the UHS program, in state tournament pool play. The Eagles weren’t able to advance into Saturday’s semifinals.
The two teams the Eagles lost to — Moundridge and Lebo — ended up playing for the state title. Moundridge defeated Lebo 25-15, 25-20.
“This team played so hard and was in every match throughout pool play,” said Jackie Hall, Uniontown head coach.
In six previous state tournament appearances, Uniontown’s teams had not won a match. In 2006, the Eagles finally won a set.
Friday after losing to Moundridge, the Eagles dusted themselves off and got back on the court. The Eagles won their first state tournament match, 25-14, 25-20, over Oskaloosa.
Senior Abbie Smith pounded down 10 kills for the Eagles. Senior Jessica Schaaf served for 12 points. Sophomore Jacy Ermel and junior Jessie Camac each had three kills.
“We were thrilled when won won the first set against Moundridge and just missed out on the second set,” Hall said.
“Obviously, we were ecstatic when we won the Oskaloosa match.”
Against Moundridge, Camac served up 12 points. Ermel pounded down nine kills and Smith had 12 kills.
Hall said Uniontown knew a berth in Saturday’s semifinals was on the line going into the Lebo match. She said the Eagles couldn’t get the winning points when they needed them.
Lebo defeated Uniontown 26-24, 22-25, 25-14. Sophomore Taylor Shook served up 11 points. Smith had 13 kills and Ermel had 11 kills.
Smith, a 5-9 hitter, and Ermel, a 5-10 hitter, were named to the 2009 Class 2A State All-Tournament Team. Smith had 35 kills for the day, going 66 of 81 on net attacks. Ermel delivered 23 kills as she was 78 of 86 on attacks. Both girls also delivered as blockers at the net.
“The team played so well. We had to make blocking and defensive adjustments throughout the matches and the girls responded well,” Hall said. “We played some of our best ball of the season at state.”
Hall said the team will miss its three seniors — Smith, Schaaf and Candice Clayton— who have done so much for this team and Uniontown High volleyball.
“We have a great core of returning players who have seen and experienced the next level of volleyball,” Hall said. “They know we can compete at the state level.
“Thanks to all of our fans and supporters who have followed us throughout the season. We appreciate all you have done for Uniontown volleyball.”