Eagles claim Class 2A substate championship

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

PITTSBURG — Revenge is sweet.
Uniontown High’s Eagles showed why they earned the top-seed in Saturday’s Kansas Class 2A Substate Volleyball Tournament. They turned the tables on host Pittsburg St. Mary’s-Colgan High’s Panthers in the championship match.
A year ago, Uniontown hosted the substate and the two teams met in the championship match. Colgan won that one but Saturday on Colgan’s home court it was the Eagles soaring to a 25-10, 25-20 win.
Uniontown captured the 2009 Class 2A substate championship and se-cured a berth in the 2009 Kansas Class 2A State Volleyball Tournament this coming weekend.
It is Uniontown’s seventh trip to the state tournament. The Eagles went to state in 1990, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003 and 2006.
“It was a great day for us,” said Jackie Hall, Uniontown head coach. “I’m proud of all of the girls. They have worked extremely hard to get to this point. Going to state was a goal they’ve had since the beginning of the season.”
The latest substate championship run began with a 25-5, 25-6 win over Humboldt. Jacy Ermel served 15 consecutive points in set one then 12 in a row in set two.
Abbie Smith led the net attack with 12 kills. Jessie Camac downed four kills and Jessica Schaaf had two kills.
“This was the first substate experience for any of my girls and, to say the least, they were awe-struck,” said Stephanie Middleton, Humboldt head coach. “Uniontown is a tremendously talented team who overpowered us from the beginning.”
Humboldt got two kills and four blocks from Melissa Davidson. Hannah McCall had two kills and Amanda Maxon was credited with three set assists.
“We knew going in to the season that it was going to be a challenge. The girls have worked hard and have continued to improve with every match,” Middleton said as the Humboldt High Lady Cubs finished 5-26.
Pittsburg-Colgan defeated Marmaton Valley (6-28) 25-19, 25-14 in the first round. The Register did not receive a report from Marmaton Valley.
Uniontown took on Jayhawk-Linn in the semifinals. The Eagles won 25-17, 16-25, 25-19.
“I knew the Jayhawk-Linn match would be tough as they were coming off a three-set victory over Sedan. We were very slow in starting and they were playing great,” Hall said.
“We struggled early on with serve-receive and our passing. But this team has a lot of determination and heart and the girls found a way to get things done to move on to the championship match against Colgan.”
Ermel served 12 points and had 12 kills for the Eagles against Jayhawk-Linn. Schaaf served up 10 points. Smith downed 14 kills.
In the championship match, Camac served eight points and Candice Clayton had seven points. Ermel pounded down 24 kills and Smith had eight kills.
The Eagles leave Thursday on the trek to Hays for the Kansas Class 2A State Volleyball Tournament. The Eagles (33-5) are the No. 3 seed in the state tournament. Oberlin-De-catur Community High is top-seeded (36-1) and Lebo (35-4) is seeded second.
The state tournament is divided into four-team pools.
The top two teams from Friday’s pool play ad-vance to semifinals on Saturday. The third-place and championship matches also are Saturday.
Uniontown opens pool play against Moundridge (31-9) at 4:30 p.m. at Fort Hays State’s Gross Memorial Coliseum. The Eagles play Oskaloosa (30-10) at 6:30 p.m. followed by Lebo at 7:30.