The El Dorado volleyball team, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1996, has been a work in progress under second-year coach Chelsea Helena.
Two years ago the Wildcats went 11-27; last seasoon Helena took over the Wildcats and the team went 19-20. This year El Dorado won nine of its first 10 matches and is off to a 17-8 start.
“For them to come out hot really encouraged them to set the bar high for season,” Helena said. “It’s contagious, once you start winning they start feeding on that fuel and we hope to keep that going as the season goes by.”
The Wildcats’ are led by Caedyn Reinhardt, who has committed to play for Southern Minnesota State. Reinhardt already holds the school record for blocks in a season and is on pace to break her record this season.
El Dorado throws multiple offensive weapons at opponents. Setter Sydney Scanlon has done a nice job of mixing her sets to Reinhardt as well as the others, including Braylon Daniels and Kylea McAardle.
“Everyone we play knows to stack on to Caedyn as our tall hitter,” Helena said. So I like to tease my other girls that it’s ultimately their game. We need kills from them in order to win and they have risen to that occasion.”
El Dorado turned heads when it beat defending Class 4A-I powerhouse, Rose Hill in three sets on Sept. 6. El Dorado is No. 6 in the latest Kansas Volleyball Association 4A-I rankings.
The Wildcats will host their invitational on Saturday. Other teams in the invitational are Augusta, Buhler, Chanute, Collegiate and Valley Center.
“Our girls want to win,” Andover coach Andrea Daugherty said. “Our team is well-rounded. When one player is not playing well, the rest of the team steps up. This shows experience and the growth of our program in the last two seasons.”
The Trojans are 8-0 in AV-CTL Division III play, a league that has three ranked teams. Eisenhower and Andover Central are second and third in the league.
Andover will meet Andover Central during an Oct. 11 triangular that includes Goddard.
“The Andover-Andover Central match is always one to prepare for due to the friendly rivalry between the two schools.”
The Trojans have one senior on the team, middle hitter Erin Seabrook. Daugherty says Seabrook is a leader both on and off the court. Outside hitter Isabelle Reynolds is the go-to weapon for the Trojans.
Andover’s six losses came to 5A powers Maize twice, Newton, 4A-I power Rose Hill and 6A threat Garden City. Those four schools are all ranked in their classifications.
“Our team chemistry, aggressive and competitive nature must continue for us,” Daugherty said. “We’ve got a tough sub-state this year and will have to work hard to prepare for those teams.”