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Sports in Kansas: 2019 State Volleyball Tourney Preview

Beloit punched their ticket to 3A state. (courtesy photo from Beloit HS)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Oct 30, 2019

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Class 6A

Pool I:

1.Garden City (32-3) – Garden City has reached state the last five years and won the Western Athletic Conference for nine consecutive falls. Senior outside Reagan Karlin has committed to Creighton. She ranks second in the state with a .522 hitting percentage and has exceeded 1,000 career kills. Senior Remi Vargas has cleared 2,000 career assists. Senior libero Kelbi Richter has more than 1,000 career digs. This season, Karlin has 369 kills (5.1 per set) with just 30 errors. She has averaged a kill on 57 percent of swings. Senior Ashlyn Swan paces the Buffs with 48 blocks. Richter has 367 digs (five per set), and Vargas is at 796 assists (10.9 per set). Garden City finished 28-8 last season and has third-year coach Trista Bailey.

8. Lawrence Free State (24-12) – Kaitlyn Hamilton, an Indiana State commit, has cleared 1,000 career kills and is one of the state’s top hitters for the Firebirds, which came out a parity-laden sub-state that also featured Wichita East and defending champion Lawrence. Free State, with first-year coach Jayme Savage, shared the Sunflower League title with Gardner-Edgerton. FS finished 11-1 in league and earned the title for the first time in two years. The Firebirds were 10-2 in league play last year. Free State has nine seniors, including Morgan Beer, Cameryn Ekeler, Haley Hippe, Haylee Kern, Emily Jones, Sydney Johnston and Hamilton. She, Jones and freshman Aubrey Duncan are the team’s leading hitters. Duncan is the team’s leader in blocks.

4. Blue Valley (28-8) – Senior Evelyn Diederich has a team-high 326 kills (4.1 per set). Senior Lindsay Lahr is second with 250 kills (3.3 per set). Diederich is headed to South Dakota, and Lahr to Missouri State. Diederich paces her team with 48 aces. Lahr has 63 total blocks – 55 solo – and ranks among the state’s best blockers. No Blue Valley school district team has ever won a state championship in volleyball. Blue Valley beat Blue Valley North, 2-0, on Sept. 17. Blue Valley also defeated Garden City, 2-0, on Oct. 5. BV has not faced Free State since ’15.

5. Blue Valley North (27-8) – BVN has great depth with its top-five hitters all between 102 and 200 kills: sophomore Jasmine Dulan, junior Carley Spachman, senior Emily Williams and Ella Meyer, and sophomore Morgan Debow. Senior Grace Reininga has 306 digs. Senior Julia Mullinax leads with 541 assists.

Pool II

2. Washburn Rural (36-5) – Coach Kevin Bordewick eclipsed 900 career victories earlier this season. WR faces G-E in the first match. The Junior Blues have defeated the Trailblazers all three times this year. Rural was fourth two years ago and third last season. Rural has captured seven volleyball state titles, all from ’04-12. The Junior Blues have five freshmen who see significant time on varsity.

7. Gardner-Edgerton (26-10) – G-E has been a top-10 team in 6A all through the season for coach Alex Fitzmorris-Sorn. The Trailblazers are 20-20, 24-14, 29-10 and 26-10 in her four-year tenure. Senior Morgan McIntire, a Fort Hays commit, has led the state with 1,197 attacks. She averages 4.7 kills per set and has hit .221. Junior Kendra Wait, the reigning Kansas track athlete of the year, has committed to Creighton volleyball. Wait has 124 kills with a .408 hitting percentage. Sophomore Jaylyne Bell has 254 kills with a .226 hitting average. Wait also leads the team with 44 aces.

3. Derby (33-8) – Derby qualified for state for the first time since back-to-back trips in 2001-02 and has a 15-win improvement after an 18-21 record last fall. Led by longtime coach Shelby Kraus, the Panthers have enjoyed a turnaround since this season behind junior Sophie Connor, senior hitter/setter Sydney Nilles, senior libero Heather Mills and sophomore Tatum Boettjer, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Towanda-Circle. Connor has 265 kills, senior Jalen Keener and Boettjer each has 255. Boettjer carries a .313 hitting mark. Keener leads the team with 55 assists. Junior Antigone Colon has 76 blocks, followed by Niles (73), junior Lexi Pitts (72) and Boettjer (55). Connor has 423 digs, 80 more than Mills.

Nilles leads with 9.8 assists per set. Mills and Connor are the team leaders in serve-receptions. Derby captured its first league title in four years. Earlier this fall, Derby reached a final and won a tournament for the first time in the senior’s careers. Nilles has committed to Newman for basketball. Mills has more than 1,000 career digs and service receptions.

6. Shawnee Mission Northwest (28-10)-  SM Northwest has three straight winning seasons after a 52-26 combined mark the last two years. Junior Reanne DeBose has put together an excellent fall with 386 kills (4.2 per set) and carries a .255 average. Ninety-four percent of the team’s kills are by non-seniors. Junior Taylor McCarthy has 3.2 kills per set. Freshman Elinor Engel leads with the squad with 64 blocks. Northwest has one all-time volleyball crown, coming in Class 6A in ’88.

Class 5A

Pool I

1.Maize South (38-2) – Maize South was the last Kansas to take a loss this year. The Mavericks feature top hitter Erica Fava and setter Laurel Jones, a Marquette commit. The team’s top-three hitters are seniors with Fava (362 kills), McKinley Pruitt (231) and Carley Sterneker (197). Fava, Pruitt and Jones all hit between .325 and .349. Fava leads her team with 74 aces. Pruitt is first with 52 blocks, and Jones stands second with 49 blocks – a very high number for a setter. Junior Riley Kennedy leads with 293 digs, and Fava is second at 264. Jones is at 855 assists (9.6 per set). The 6-foot-1 Jones has 1,235 assists in the last two years. Maize South finished 0-3 at the state tournament in 2018.

8. Goddard (33-7) – Goddard has four seniors that have played all four years and start: setter/hitter Kade Hackerott, hitter/blocker Sydney Morrow, libero Bailey Dugan and setter/hitter Abbie Medbery. Hackerott has committed to Central Missouri basketball, and Medbery for Newman volleyball. Goddard returned all but one player last year. Maize South has defeated Goddard as the Lions opened the season 0-2. Goddard beat Great Bend in sub-state title game and will now face Maize South in the first matchup. Maize South has won four in a row versus Goddard.

4. Lansing (32-4) – Lansing coach Julie Slater has more than 900 career victories and ranks first among active coaches. Senior middle hitter Caroline Crawford joined the team later in the season after she played for Team USA in Egypt. Crawford carries a .458 hitting average in 63 sets. Lansing has not lost since her return. Crawford and Karli Schmidt, the reigning Class 5A Player of the Year, have both committed to Kansas. The top-four hitters are seniors with Schmidt (325 kills), Crawford (236), Sam Moburg (224) and Amelia Van Der Werff (187). Moburg has committed to Washburn, and Van Der Werff to Middle Tennessee State. Setter/right side McKinzie Weaver has committed to Newman. Lansing’s lone title came in Class 4A in 2002. In ’18, Lansing took third behind St. James and Aquinas.

5. Andover (34-6) – Andover has won three titles all time, in ’73, ’01 and 04. The Trojans have seven seniors: outside/defensive specialist Maggie Creitz, defensive specialist Emma Torgerson, middle hitter Hallie Meyes, Liz Haralson, middle/outside Lidia DiLollo, outside Korynn Haetten, and setter Lyndsey Wekamp.

Pool II

2. Spring Hill (37-2) – Erica Book, who has spent time at Gardner-Edgerton and in the collegiate coaching ranks, has turned around Spring Hill. An All-American libero at Washburn and the Lady Blues’ all-time leader in career digs, Book led SH to a 28-10 mark last year and the nine-win improvement this fall. Junior Jaylin Stevenson leads with 404 kills (4.4 per set) and a .353 hitting percentage. She has committed to Washburn. Junior Alli Frank is second with 203 kills (2.3 per set) and a .327 average. She committed to Baker this week. All but 15 of the team’s kills come from non-seniors. Stevenson leads with 46 aces, and Frank has 89 blocks. Libero Caitlyn Rexroat, the lone senior, has 441 digs (five per set).

7. St. Thomas Aquinas (30-6) – Aquinas has captured six all-time volleyball titles, coming most recently in ’01, ’06-07, and ’14. Aquinas has been ranked in the top-25 nationally, including No. 24 in the latest rankings. Junior Caroline Bien has committed to Kansas, and senior Caroline Zabroske is the Saints’ all-time leader in kills. Bien has 289 kills, Zabroske with 267 and sophomore Ava Martin has 245. Aquinas is 10-27 against rival St. James since 2008. However, the teams have split two meetings this season. SJA won 2-0 on Oct. 3, and Aquinas won 2-0 two days later. Aquinas defeated Spring Hill last year.

3. St. James (36-2) – St. James has captured nine state championships, including the last two. All of the Thunder’s titles have come between ’08-’18. Overall, SJA carries a .326 hitting percentage behind its top-three hitters of seniors Anna Feldkamp (286 kills), Ellie Wheeler (264) and junior Olivia Lovett (239). Senior libero Ellie Bolton has committed to Creighton, Feldkamp to Loyola of Chicago, and setter Marea Wortmann to Benedictine.

6. Bishop Carroll (33-6) – The Golden Eagles feature Ella Larkin, who has committed to LSU for both indoor and beach volleyball. Carroll has eight all-time volleyball state titles, though the last one came in ’01. The Golden Eagles were fourth at state in ’18.

Class 4A

Pool I

1.Andale (35-2) – Andale has never won a state title, but neither has any of the four teams in Pool I. The Indians have been ranked No. 1 throughout the season, and is the favorite after Miege did not make the state tournament. Miege, with 25 state championships, finished with a losing record versus a highly challenging schedule. Andale finished 34-9 and reached the state tournament last fall. The Indians took fourth behind Miege, Louisburg and Topeka Hayden. Second-year coach Kaylie Bergkamp is the daughter of highly successful Garden Plain coach Gina Clark. Andale brought back five starters: junior outside hitter Katelyn Fairchild, senior middle hitter Morgan Bruna, senior back row Madison Grimes and Sage Reichenberger and senior setter Jenna Jarmer. In ’18, Bruna and Fairchild were first team all-state, Grimes was the state’s top passer.

8. Louisburg (21-15) – In the state’s best sub-state semifinal matchup, Louisburg defeated Bishop Miege and then returned to the state tournament. Louisburg was ranked fourth in the final 4A rankings. Last year, Miege defeated Louisburg for the title. Junior Carleigh Pritchard has 218 kills, part of a quintet that all has at least 156 kills.

4. Holton (30-11) – Holton features seven seniors with setter/defensive specialist Faith Haussler, outside hitter Cailin Parks, defensive specialists Olivia Yingst and Savanna Booth, right side Kinleigh Rhodd, and middle blockers/right side Danika Hickman and Paige Crouch. Holton defeated Rose Hill and Abilene in sub-state.

5. Nickerson (27-13) – Nickerson finished as Class 4A, Division II state runner-up to Topeka Hayden in 2017. In ’16, Nickerson earned third place in 4A-II. The Panthers have five seniors: outside hitter Cyra Kelley, outside hitter/middle blocker Alyssa Land, Madison Ontjes, middle hitter Morgan Stout, and setter Tryniti Isley.

Pool II

2. Independence (35-3) – This marks the fourth straight state qualification for Independence. Indy qualified for the state tournament last year, though went 0-3 in pool play. The Bulldogs also qualified for state in ’17, and finished 2-1 in pool play, but did not reach the final four. Independence qualified in ’16, though was 0-3 in pool play. Independence features four key seniors with Kate Kleiber, Callie Younger, Kate Gordon and Cloe Mills. Independence defeated Baldwin, 25-18, 25-13 in the sub-state championship game. Indy was ranked fourth in the final coaches’ poll. Coach Kristi Speicher is in her 35th season as Independence’s volleyball coach. Independence’s best finish was a Class 5A runner-up showing in ’92. She has more than 500 career victories. Indy set a school record with 37 wins in ’17. She took Independence to state in five of her first eight seasons. Then, there was a 23-year gap between the last four trips, according to SEK-Sports historical information. Gordon is a highly decorated player, including a first team all-league selection as a sophomore.

7. Topeka Hayden (25-14) – Hayden has reached the state tournament eight straight years. The Wildcats have eight seniors. Hayden defeated Ottawa, 25-4, 25-14, in the sub-state championship match. Senior Halle Jackson, a 6-footer, is one of Hayden’s top players. Hayden finished the season on a 9-1 run. The Wildcats, with veteran coach Jessica Farmer-Walter, won titles in ’15-17. Hayden has four all-time championships. Farmer-Walter is in her 14th year with the school.

3. Towanda-Circle (33-6) – Circle has enjoyed a seven-win improvement after a 26-13 mark last year. The T-Birds have improved its win total for each of the last four years with 18-21 and 21-16 records in ’16 and ’17. Circle, with coach Michelle Nibarger, qualified for state for the first time since ’11. The T-Birds had limited returning experience and won 15 straight matches in midseason. Senior Shelby Reeder among Circle’s standouts.

6. Eudora (26-13) – Senior Keagan Shockley, a Pittsburg State commit, leads the team with 258 kills (4.0 per set). She is hitting .359. Junior Jayla Pierce is second with 107 kills and is batting .390. Eudora carries a .275 average with errors on 13.6 percent of swings. Senior Delaney Franklin leads with 260 digs (4.1 per set). Franklin has more than 800 career digs and has committed to Baker University. Eudora was 23-16 and 23-12 the last two falls.

Class 3A

Pool I

1.Beloit (37-3) – Senior Shea Larson, the school record holder for kills, ranks  third in Kansas in hitting percentage at .463. Senior Hanna Pearson stands fifth at .454. Beloit was third in Class 3A last fall for coach Brandy Paul and was named the classification program of the year. Paul is 217-60 with the Trojans. Last year, senior setter/opposite Jessica Meier and sophomore setter/opposite Makenzie Travis set the school record for combined assists, and Meier had the school mark for service points. The pair combined for 1,107 assists (11.8 per set). This year, Beloit has broken the record with 1,160 assists. They have helped the Trojans average kills on 47.4 percent of swings and carry a .379 team average. Beloit’s roster features seven seniors and two sophomores on varsity.

8. Burlington (18-18) – Burlington came out of the wide-open Eureka sub-state that featured no ranked teams. The Wildcats won three straight matches, including a three-set victory versus top-seeded and host Eureka in the semifinals.

4. Cheney (31-8) – Cheney advanced from the highly challenging Haven sub-state that also included top-10 teams Wichita Trinity Academy and Hesston. Cheney was ranked No. 10 entering sub-state and beat Trinity (25-12, 25-15) and Hesston (25-18, 23-25, 25-17). Longtime coach Sara Walkup’s top-four hitters are all non-seniors. Junior Kylie Scheer has 219 kills (3.0 per set) and is hitting .286. Just 83 of the team’s 801 kills have come from seniors. Sophomore Olivia Albers, freshman Anna Martin and junior Camdyn Pipkin have also been key attackers. Scheer, the reigning 3A basketball player of the year, has a team-high 45 assists. Pipkin is first with 67 blocks, and Scheer is second at 45. Cheney is traditionally known for defense, and Scheer also leads with 250 digs, one of six players with at least 198 digs.

5. Phillipsburg (29-10) – Coach Terra Keeten has won 574 matches in her 21 years with the Panthers. Phillipsburg finished 29-11 last season. The Panthers returned seven starters and its libero. The Panthers have nine seniors: setter Ashlyn Cole, libero/defensive specialists Kylie Solida and Lexie Wood, defensive specialists Anahy Sanchez and Lexi Chestnut, outside hitter/defensive specialist Emily Schneider, defensive specialist/setter Kristen Wells, and middle hitter Jenna Hoover.

Pool II

2. Frontenac (39-4) – In a matchup of two teams with 30-plus wins, Frontenac held off Riverton, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23 in the sub-state title game. Coach Cassie Rhuems has junior Reagen Hipfl (292 kills), senior Karma Fields (275 kills) and sophomore Heather Arnett (193 kills). Hipfl carries a .338 hitting percentage. Senior Bria Ginavan has 77 aces. Hipfl leads with 80 blocks. Senior Bailey Rhuems is one of the state’s statistical leaders on the back row with 529 digs (6.2 per set). The Raiders feature several of the same athletes who helped them to a 3A state softball championship over Silver Lake last spring. 

7. Nemaha Central (27-14) – Nemaha Central is 1-2 versus Royal Valley this year. RV won 2-0 on Sept. 17, and then lost 2-1 on Oct. 15. RV defeated the Thunder, 2-1, in a second match on Oct. 15. Before sub-state, NC was 10-3 and had bounced back from three straight losses to Circle, Wamego and Holton. NC came out of its own sub-state and defeated rival Sabetha, 25-17, 24-26, 25-19 in the final.

3. Royal Valley (34-6) – Royal Valley has been ranked No. 1 in Class 3A most of the year and has an early season victory versus Silver Lake on Sept 7. However, Silver Lake came back to beat Royal Valley, 2-0, on Oct. 5. RV features junior Ivy Fink. She has 436 kills (5.4 per set) with a .361 hitting percentage. Freshman Kennedy Bryan ranks second with 192 kills (2.4 per set).

6. Silver Lake (29-11) – Silver Lake finished 37-6 and won the Class 3A state championship last year. SL, with coach Sarah Johnson, brought back all three of its all-state players with seniors Lexi Cobb, Daryn Lamprecht, and Clara Caralt. Cobb and Lamprecht have committed to play Division I softball. Cobb is at 299 kills with a .289 hitting percentage, and Lamprecht has 269 kills with a .223 average. Senior Taylor Burkhardt paces with 473 digs (5.4 per set).

Class 2A

Pool I

1.Colgan (41-2) – Last year, Colgan entered state with an undefeated record and won its pool. However, the Panthers took an upset loss to Wabaunsee in the state semifinals, and fell  to Smith Center in the third-place match. This year, coach Cathy Olpotnik has earned her 400th career victory. Junior Millie Stockard has 544 kills (5.5 per set) with a .364 average. Junior Kaitlin Crossland had 346 kills (3.5 per set) with a .324 average.

8. Garden Plain (30-9) – Garden Plain is the defending Class 2A state champion and returns a pair of exceptional players in libero Kennedy Horacek and hitter Natasha Dooley, the reigning Class 2A Player of the Year. Horacek led the state with 766 digs. GP defeated Sedgwick in the sub-state championship game and gave the Cardinals its only two losses. Garden Plain has taken nine losses this fall and enters state as the No. 8 seed but entered state last season with nine losses, went 4-1 at state and completed a 35-10 mark. Coach Gina Clark has 596 career victories. In addition to Horacek and Dooley, GP returned four other starters with opposites Sydnee Becker, Claire Clark (the coach’s daughter), along with middles Christia Rose Gorges and Allie Puetz. GP has captured four state titles, all since ’96. Clark has three championships with the Owls with crowns in ’08 and ’15. Garden Plain is the defending champion in volleyball, girls’ basketball and track.

4. Valley Heights (36-4) – The Mustangs have qualified for state three straight years. Last year, VH finished 0-3 at state – and did not win more than 36 points in any of the matches. Two seasons ago, VH finished third in Class 2A.

5. Smith Center (34-4) – Smith Center took fourth in 2017 and third last season, both in Class 2A. SC coach Nick Linn is the longtime Lady Red volleyball and girls’ basketball coach. He has won 886 matches in 34 years of volleyball coaching. Smith Center has seven seniors, notably with Bree Frieling and Lizzy Pfortmiller, Kendra Maydew, Emma Enochs, Sharon Topel, Maddy Koelsch and Jessalyn Kirchhoff. Sophomore 6-footer Tallon Rentschler has enjoyed back-to-back big seasons. Frieling is a four-year starter at setter and returning first team all-state player. Rentschler is a returning honorable mention all-state selection for a close-knit group.

Pool II

2. Spearville (35-2) – Spearville is the defending 1A state runner-up and was ranked first in Class 1A before it bumped to 2A when the new classifications were released in midseason. The Lancers have 33 straight victories. Spearville has qualified for state six times in the nine-year Syble Thompson era. Senior outside hitter/right side Ehlaina Hartman, an Emporia State basketball commit, leads a senior-laden team.

7.Winchester-Jefferson County North (32-8) – JCN defeated top-seeded Jackson Heights, 25-15, 25-18, in sub-state. Josie Weishaar, an 1,000-point scorer in basketball, is one of four seniors. JCN has four straight seasons of at least 30 victories.

3. Alma-Wabaunsee (36-3) – The Chargers were second in ’14 and ’18. Senior libero Alexis Hafenstine is one of the state’s top back row players. Wabaunsee has set a school mark with a 36-3 record. Eastern media outlets reported that Hafenstine dove for a ball and chipped parts of two front teeth early in the sub-state title game. She remained in the match and tallied 13 digs. Overall, Hafenstine, a key three-year player, has 533 digs, 37 aces and served 97.2 percent. Last year, Hafenstine collected 511 digs, which ranked in the top-20 in Kansas, according to Kansas Volleyball Association statistical rankings. Senior Megan Strait leads the Chargers with 250 kills. The top-four hitters have between 169 and 250 kills.

6. Belle Plaine (34-6) – BP has qualified for state two straight seasons. The Dragons defeated traditional power Hillsboro, 26-24, 23-25, 25-20, in the sub-state title game. Coach Karen Wiseman has four seniors, six juniors and one sophomore on varsity. Junior Alyssa Hunter leads the team with a wide margin with 374 kills (4.2 per set) along with a .276 hitting percentage. She has 80 aces, 28 more than any other player. Senior Madi Gooch has 320 digs, 117 more than any teammate.

Class 1A

Pool I

1.Rural Vista (38-4) – Rural Vista has been ranked first in the classification most of the year and is the favorite in a wide-open class that does not include traditional  1A powers Centralia or Goessel. Rural Vista qualified for state volleyball for the first time since the co-operative agreement formed between Hope and White City. Hannah Riedy recently earned her 1,500th career assist and 1,000th career dig, and Holly Brockmeier has exceeded 1,000 career kills. Coach Adam Sobba is 101-17 after a 35-5 mark last year. Holly Brockmeier earned first team all-league each of her first three years, and Riedy was a second team all-state pick last fall.

Holly Brockmeier has 296 kills, Riedy has delivered 270 and Meghan Brockmeier has 234 kills. They all hit between .374 and .400. Meghan Brockmeier leads the team by a wide margin with 49 aces. Riedy has 388 digs, 13 more than Meghan Brockmeier. Junior Amber Brockmeier and Riedy have 379 and 330 assists, respectively.

8. Victoria (23-13) – Victoria was seeded eighth in sub-state and defeated top-seeded Golden Plains in the semifinals. The Knights reached state for the first time since 1991. Coach Sarah Nuss has just two seniors with Haylee Winter and Zoe Miller. Ninety-five percent of the team’s kills come from non-seniors. Sophomores Melany Huser and Kassi Weber lead with 189 and 179 kills. Junior Emily Sterling has 278 digs.

4. Minneola (32-8) – Minneola qualified for state volleyball for the first time. The Wildcats defeated ranked Little River in three sets in the sub-state title. Five seniors are on the roster with Jaden Pfaff, Jacey Wideman, Elva Deibert, Grace Lang, and Brenna Strecker. Junior Megan Schneweis, sophomore Madi Denison and freshman Aly Dreiling round out the team.

5. Olpe (31-10) – Olpe has continued to rise up with several upsets in the last two weeks. In sub-state, Olpe defeated No. 7 Argonia, 25-16, 25-18 in the sub-state title game. The Eagles were fourth in 1A last season. Olpe is the only 1A team back that qualified for state in ’18. The other qualifiers were Centralia, Spearville, Moundridge, South Gray, Beloit/St. John’s-Tipton, Wheatland-Grinnell and Otis-Bison.

Pool II

2. Chetopa (38-5) – Chetopa senior Samantha Blundell leads a roster that has just eight varsity players and reached the state tournament for the first time. She has more than 440 kills and is in the top-10 in Kansas in hitting percentage for coach Jill Blackledge. Blundell and senior setter Torrie Albertson are the team captains. The rest of the roster includes junior outside hitter Brali Conrad, junior Amber Ross, sophomores Tayler Beard and MacKaylie Moore, and freshmen Andie Johnson and Gracie Schertz.

7. Central Plains (29-11) – Central Plains opened 3-3 and was 15-7 before the Oilers finished the year on a 14-4.  CP, led by coach Lisa Crites, has three seniors with 5-foot-10 outside hitter Addison Crites, outside hitter/right side Rebecca Stratmann, and libero Rachel Lamatsch. Central Plains finished 43-0 and won the Class 2A title in 2015.

3. Cunningham (35-6) – Cunningham moved from eighth to fourth in the last Class 1A poll. The Wildcats have won 15 straight matches, including a bye.

6. Clifton-Clyde (30-11) –Clifton-Clyde delivered one of the big upsets in recent Kansas volleyball history with a sub-state title win versus Centralia, ranked second in 1A behind Rural Vista. Centralia longtime coach Kimbrook Tennal retired after 2018. The Panthers were 44-1, 43-1 and 47-0 and won the state title the last three years. Centralia was also second in ’15 and first in ’14. Clifton-Clyde was 0-16 versus Centralia since ’09.