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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • T-Birds sweep HOPL season slate

  • Following a rough weekend tournament against mostly larger schools, the Skyline Thunderbirds spikers got just what they needed to regain some confidence on Tuesday night.
    By sweeping Stafford and South Barber in a triangular at Stafford, the Lady T-Birds accomplished something which hasn’t been done before by them. Skyline ran the table on their HOPL foes to win the league regular season title in undefeated fashion.
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  • Following a rough weekend tournament against mostly larger schools, the Skyline Thunderbirds spikers got just what they needed to regain some confidence on Tuesday night.
    By sweeping Stafford and South Barber in a triangular at Stafford, the Lady T-Birds accomplished something which hasn’t been done before by them. Skyline ran the table on their HOPL foes to win the league regular season title in undefeated fashion.
    “We have co-won league before,” Skyline head coach Summer Younie explained, “but this is the first time we’ve gone undefeated and won it outright.”
    The Lady Thunderbirds defeated Stafford 25-21 and 25-18. Scores against South Barber were 25-23 and 25-12.
    The victories were a welcome turnaround from what befell the T-Birds last weekend.
    Playing in the Great Bend Invitational, Skyline dropped 6 matches consecutively without winning even a single set.
    The competition was fierce, as Skyline’s opponents included schools like Hays, Great Bend, Salina Central and Wichita Northwest. And even among smaller schools in attendance was St. John, who is highly state ranked in 1A.
    So it was no disgrace to bow to teams like that,  but even so, Coach Younie was not pleased with the way the T-Birds played.
    “We were intimidated the whole day,” Younie expressed. “We didn’t play aggressive, we played scared.”
    That was not the case Tuesday night as the Skyliners clicked on all cylinders while sweeping Stafford and South Barber.
    “We played better (Tuesday) night than we have the last couple of game days,” Younie said. “We served fairly well, which helps a lot.”
    Younie felt that her girls were more assertive on offense than they had been recently. “Morgan Flowers, Alyssa Swonger, Taylor Tobin and Taylor DeWeese were much more aggressive at the net,” she observed.
    Although uncharacteristically struggling a bit with serve receive and on defense, the Lady Thunderbirds made adjustments and by the end of the matches Tuesday had picked it up defensively.
    “Morgan Flowers, Janessa Davis and Harley Weaver usually do such a good job of reading the other teams hitters,” Younie said in attempting to explain her team’s defensive blips Tuesday. “I think they were just second-guessing themselves when usually their gut instinct is right on. But it’s understandable how your confidence could be shaken after the weekend we suffered through.”
    But any loss of confidence the Lady T-Birds may have been feeling should now be dispelled following their precedent-setting performance Tuesday night.
    Coach Younie thought that it looked like her girls had shaken off the previous weekend by the end of Tuesday’s matches. “We talked a lot more,” she said. “We just looked more comfortable.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Skyline has a bit of a lay-off now before their next competition which is the HOPL tournament to be held at Norwich Saturday October 13.
    “I think the girls are excited about next Saturday’s league tournament,”  Younie mentioned. “They have a chance to win not only the regular league season, but also the league tournament. I don’t know if that’s ever been done here at Skyline.”
    With the varsity spikers getting back on track just at the right time, the future of the program looks promising as well. The JV  took third in their tournament this past weekend. “They have really improved throughout the season and they played hard Saturday,” Younie said.
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