The Skyline volleyball team has had a busy week so far. Over the weekend they took 3rd in a tough field at the Kiowa County tournament, then Tuesday they won a pair of relatively easy victories at Fairfield.
The Kiowa County tournament featured five ranked teams, including Skyline who went in ranked #5 in 2A.
The T-Birds had a tussle with Ness City to start off with, finally getting past the Eagles 25-22; 25-22. Kaitlyn Stark had 13 assists and 8 kills. Taylor DeWeese had 7 kills, 1 ace, and 3 blocks. Janessa Davis had 6 kills. Alyssa Swonger had 5 kills and 4 blocks and Kamryn Stark had 12 assists.
In their next match-up, Skyline swept Macksville aside 25-13; 25-21. Shelby Bender served a couple of aces and Mycha Owens played well on the back line, carding 12 digs + receives.
In the final match of pool play, Skyline fell to the 2A #10 host Kiowa County Mavericks. The Mavs won game 1 comfortably 17-25. Skyline sent the next set to OT before falling 24-27. Alyssa Swonger played well at the net against Kiowa County, scoring 5 kills and 4 blocks. Janessa Davis and Shelby Bender each picked up 16 digs + receives.
That defeat put the Thunderbirds into bracket play against the winners of the opposite pool, 3A#9 Hutch Trinity. Skyline fell to Trinity by 18-25; 15-25. Janessa Davis had 5 kills, 2 blocks and 8 digs + returns in a losing effort.
In the 3rd place game, Skyline went up against 2A#8 Ellis. The T-Birds rallied to take a 25-19; 27-23 win from the Railroaders. Shelby Bender had 3 aces; Alyssa Swonger pounded 9 kills; Taylor Tobin had 100% kill ratio and 1 block; Janessa Davis brought up 15 digs. The Stark sisters again handled setting duties admirably, Kamryn with 12 and Kaitlyn with 13 assists.
“Kiowa County was a tough tournament,” admitted Skyline head coach Summer Younie. “We definitely did not play our best. We struggled with playing together as a team. We did pull it together in the last match against Ellis where we did a great job of controlling the tempo.”
“We blocked well in that match which shook up their big hitters,” Younie added. “We had some younger girls play well for us. Jessica DeWeese and Betsy Giles got some quality varsity time in.”
After the difficult competition faced at the Kiowa County tournament, Tuesday’s matches against Fairfield and Pretty Prairie must have seemed almost like a vacation to the Lady T-Birds. At least the results of the matches would suggest that, as Pretty Prairie fell 25-14; 25-13 and Fairfield succumbed 25-11; 25-9 to the resurgent Thunderbirds.
Taylor DeWeese came up big at the net against Pretty Prairie, slamming 7 kills and 4 blocks. “Taylor DeWeese was an animal,” observed Younie. “She was really swinging aggressively (Tuesday) night.”
Page 2 of 2 - Younger sister Jessica DeWeese got the starting nod against Pretty Prairie and played well defensively, carding 12 digs+ receives. “She did a great job of controlling the ball and giving us some speed and energy that we seemed to be lacking last weekend,” Coach Younie mentioned.
Against the host Falcons, Skyline posted a nice 42% kill ratio as a team and Janessa Davis and Shelby Bender made sure the ball didn’t hit the floor on Skyline’s side— the pair combining for 27 digs + receives.
“(Tuesday) night against Fairfield and Pretty Prairie, we used a new line-up and we haven’t really had much time to practice it,” Younie explained. “We were a little discombobulated with where to go on serve-receive and coverage, but overall the girls played well. I think that once we get used to our new line-up, we’ll be more balanced in every rotation on defense and at the net.”
Skyline JVs had a good night Tuesday as well, beating both Fairfield and South Barber. “All the JV girls got quality playing time,” Younie expressed. “With 13 girls on the bench, it makes it a struggle to get a rhythm going, but the girls played great.”
The Lady T-Birds sport a lofty 18-3 record at this point of the season. They have a quadrangular at South Barber next Tuesday where the new line-up will again show what it can do.