Lady Titans go 1-2 in first state tourney run

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

HAYS — Southern Coffey County High’s Lady Titans notched a win to open their first-ever Kansas Class 1A State Volleyball Tournament appearance Friday.
In the 2009 state volleyball tournament at Fort Hays State’s Gross Memorial Coliseum, the Lady Titans were not overwhelmed. At the 1A state basketball tournament in March, mainly the same girls were overwhelmed by the arena.
On Friday morning, the Lady Titans played as they had all season.
Southern Coffey County beat Weskan 25-16, 20-25, 25-23.
Junior Sam Jacob came up with 11 digs for the Lady Titans. Senior Kaitlin Meyer had seven kills at the net and had nine digs.
Shelby Birk, a senior, delivered eight kills. Senior setter Kristen Garland was credited with 24 assists.
“Weskan had a good team with a couple of hard hitters and they were athletic,” said Korey Lankton, SCCH head coach. “I thought we played with some good composure being down 17-12 in the third set and coming back for the win.”
The Lady Titans dropped a three-set match against St. John-Hudson 19-25, 25-11, 25-10. Senior Laurie Ohl racked up seven kills while Meyer had five kills and 10 digs. Jacob had 10 digs and Birk had five kills. Garland had 21 set assists.
“We played a great first set. Shelby, Sam, Laurie and Kaitlin double blocked (St. John-Hudson’s) best hitter and really threw their offense off track,” Lankton said. “We continued to do a good job blocking and digging but St. John-Hudson just didn’t make mistakes.
“They kept bringing back balls that looked like we would get points for.”
Lankton said it took a little out of the Lady Titans to make good plays and not get points for them. St. John got some momentum and rolled with it.
Centralia defeated SCCH 25-20, 25-13 in the final pool match. Ohl had six digs and four kills while Birk had four kills. Meyer had three kills and five digs and Garland had 14 assists.
Lankton said a slow start in both sets hurt the Lady Titans. Centralia went on to take second, losing 25-16, 25-22 to Frankfort. St. John was third as it defeated Central Christian 25-13, 25-19 Saturday.
Garland was selected to the Kansas Class 1A State All-Tournament Team. The 5-6 setter had 59 set assists in the tournament.
The Lady Titans ended up 39-6 for the season.
“We had a great year. Thirty-nine wins is a very special season but you just can’t measure the work ethic and commitment these seniors have had over the years with numbers.”
The Lady Titans say goodbye to seven seniors — Garland, Meyer, Birk, Ohl, Kaity Isch, Lauren Isch and Kandace Shields.