With three other high-quality teams in the field, it was not going to be easy for the Skyline volleyball team to advance from the 2A sub-state they hosted on Saturday. After sweeping Kinsley aside in the opening round, the T-Birds fell in the semis to Kiowa County, who went on to lose to Bucklin-Ashland in the finals.
To start the match against Kinsley, T-Bird Shelby Bender served 6 straight points before the Coyotes could get a side out. Things snowballed from there and Skyline claimed the first set 25-8. The second set saw Kinsley lead for a rotation or two early on, but then the Lady Thunderbirds began clicking again and they went on to post a 25-12 win in the second set, giving them a straight set victory over the Coyotes 25-8; 25-12.
In the semis, Skyline met up with #9 Kiowa County. The T-Birds took the Lady Mavs to three sets before falling. In the opener, Skyline survived a 26-24 OT game. Kiowa County won the next two sets 20-25; 18-25 to win the match 2 sets to 1.
There was disappointment, but no sour grapes from Skyline head coach Summer Younie following her team’s ouster from the tournament. “I thought we played fairly well,” she said. “I knew that we would have to play our best in order to make it out—and we didn’t. We played a little timid at the net. We needed to hit more aggressively. I thought we passed the ball well and served well—and at times we played really great.”
“Our sub-state was tough, but that’s how it should be,” Younie continued. “It should make teams step up and compete hard to win the opportunity to qualify for state.”
With the defeat, Skyline’s volleyball season comes to an end. It was a good season, with a 30-8 record and an HOPL championship to boast of. 6 seniors graduate, but a good nucleus will return next season.