By CONOR NICHOLL
Spearville is 35-2 and qualified for Class 2A state tournament out of the Elkhart sub-state. The Lancers were the No. 1 seed in the sub-state and opened with a 25-18, 25-4 victory versus Sublette. In the semifinals, the Lancers beat Pratt-Skyline, 25-9, 22-25, 25-14. In the championship, Spearville held off Medicine Lodge, 25-19, 25-23.
The Lancers are the defending Class 1A state runner-up. Spearville was ranked No. 1 in Class 1A earlier this fall, and then was one of a few ranked teams to change classes when KSHSAA announced the changes in midseason. The Lancers stood eighth in Class 2A in the final poll. The state tournament is Friday and Saturday at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. Spearville starts at 4:30 p.m. as the No. 2 seed. The tournament features all four 2A teams that finished in in final four last year: Garden Plain, Alma-Wabaunsee, Smith Center and Pittsburg Colgan.
Spearville opened the season 2-2 with losses to 5A Great Bend and 6A Dodge City. The Lancers have tallied 33 straight victories. Spearville has qualified for state six times in the nine-year Syble Thompson tenure.
Last year, the Lancers fell to Centralia in the championship game. Centralia finished 47-0 and won the 15th state volleyball title before legendary coach Kimbrook Tennal retired.
The Lancers had not qualified for state in ’16-17. However, Spearville finished fourth in Class 2A in ’14-15. Spearville also was fourth in Class 1A, Division I in ’11, and third in 1A-I in ’13.
Spearville has a senior-laden team with outside hitter/right side Ehlaina Hartman, middle blocker Brianna Ede, outside hitter Mackenzie Foos, outside hitter Taige Kliesen, and junior libero Alissa Heskamp.
The starters are Hartman, Foos, Kliesen, Heskamp, along with middle blockers Cameron Offerle and Briana Ede, and setter Elle Weber. Hartman has committed to Emporia State basketball.
Last year, Hartman, Heskamp and Kliesen earned all-tournament honors at state. Hartman was a first team all-state volleyball selection in ’18, while Heskamp was a second team pick. In basketball, Heskamp averaged 14.9 points per game, Hartman 14.3 for the 18-5 Lancers. Both are also standouts for the 19-3 Lancer softball squad.
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