Fillies prepare for substate action at home

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Fillies welcome seven other volleyball teams to the IHS gymnasium Saturday for a 2009 Kansas Class 4A Substate Volleyball Tournament.

Iola High’s Fillies face a challenge in Kansas Class 4A Substate Volleyball Tournament play in 2009. But they’ll face it on their home court Saturday.
“I don’t think our girls realize yet what it means to play a substate tournament at home. Sure, they’ve played at home in our own tournament but this will be different, more exciting,” said Jodi Grover, Fillies’ head coach.
“I challenge our students and fans to come out and watch us Saturday afternoon. Anderson County and Circle have big followings wherever they go and it would be a shame for visiting teams’ supporters to be louder than the home team’s fans.”
This is Iola High’s third volleyball substate tournament. The last one held at IHS was in 2005.
Anderson County High’s Lady Bulldogs earned the top seed in the Iola substate with a 34-2 mark. Rose Hill High’s Rockets are No. 2 seeded at 28-7.
Circle High’s Thunderbirds (25-13) drew the No. 3 seed. That is who the Fillies will play in the opening round Saturday. Iola (9-23) is the No. 6 seed.
“I’m pretty pleased with the pairing. We played Circle at the Ottawa tournament and played them pretty well,” Grover said. “We’ve looked at film from that match. Circle is coming off two losses Tuesday night. Anything can happen. That’s why we play the games.”
The No. 4 seed went to El Dorado High’s Lady Wildcats (13-22) and No. 5 seed is Augusta High’s Orioles (12-21). Osawatomie High’s Lady Trojans (8-21) are seventh-seeded and Prairie View High’s Buffalos (7-24) are eighth-seeded.
There will be two courts going at the same time in the single-elimination tournament. Even-numbered matches will be played on the south court in the IHS gymnasium and the odd-numbered matches are on the north court.
The championship match will be played on the north court.
Play begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. Anderson County plays Prairie View on the north court and Rose Hill plays Osawatomie on the south court. The next matches on each court start 20 minutes following the conclusion of the first matches.
Iola takes on Circle in the second match on the north court. Circle beat Iola 25-22, 25-12 at Ottawa on Oct. 3.
There is a change in admission prices for the substate tournament. The prices are set by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
On Saturday it will cost $5 for adults and $4 for students (k-12) for the tournament. The ticket is good for the whole day of action. No passes will be accepted.
“This week is about getting ready to play in a substate but it’s about fun also. I want these girls to go out and play and have fun. Yes, we want to win and we’re putting people in positions that we believe will allow us to win,” Grover said.
The Fillies have made a few changes in the lineup for the tournament. Illness has created a few question marks among players, Grov-er said.
“But we’ve played out every scenario so we’ll be comfortable on the court no matter what,” Grover said. “These girls have proven this season that when we’re on we’re pretty good but when we’re off, we’re bad.”
Grover said the Fillies are hitting the volleyball with more authority this week after a good showing at the Anderson County High Invitational last weekend.
“In tight situations, we have to go up there swinging no matter what. I’ve been telling the girls to swing, swing, swing,” Grover said.
Grover said she has moved senior Megan Cook out of a setting role to play back row. She said the girls were more comfortable and playing better in the 5-1 offense instead of a 6-2.
“Plus Megan is one our best passers and it all starts with a good pass to the setter. Megan has been a good leader for the team all season,” Grover said.
Both seniors, Jazmyne Honeycutt and Molly Riebel, have been ill this week. Honeycutt plays as a middle hitter and blocker while Riebel has been the team’s libero — a back row defensive specialist.
Mindy Powelson, Shelby Greenwood and Alex Hill are the other seniors on the team. Sophomore Kelsey Larson is the setter for the Fillies. Sophomore Kendra Taiclet is a starting hitter and junior Toni Taylor rotates in on the front row.
Grover added juniors Kirstin McGuffin and Carly Mulsow for the tournament. Both were strong players and leaders of the Fillies’ junior varsity squad.