ANDOVER — The Andover Central volleyball team is in the midst of an unexpected undefeated season, and the pressure is mounting.
"I feel the pressure a little bit right now, and I hadn't early on," Andover Central coach Kelly Cook said. "It takes a while for a school to notice the volleyball team, so when they jump on board, then they're announcing that we're playing tonight. It's a lot."
Senior Kelsey Banwart agreed.
"I feel like we have a target on our back. That teams are thinking that they have to beat us," said Banwart, who plans to walk on at Wichita State.
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Tuesday night at Andover Central, the Jaguars defeated Rose Hill 25-19, 25-22, Andale 25-20, 26-24 and Kingman 25-9, 23-25, 25-13 to improve to 36-0.
It's a bit stressful to maintain perfection, but Banwart said the Jaguars are handling it well.
"I did not expect this at all, but I'm so happy," she said. "You feel so much pressure to win, but it helps us play harder to keep our record perfect. We don't try to brag about it, but we feel like we should be proud of it."
While the Jaguars continued their winning on Tuesday, they weren't at their best.
That was especially clear in Andover Central's match with Kingman. After thumping Kingman 25-9 in the first game, the Jaguars struggled in Game 2.
While Andover Central had hitting and serve-receive errors, Kingman took advantage with a stuff block by Morgan Roser and a kill by Haley Mertens, en route to a 7-1 lead.
The Jaguars briefly took an 18-16 lead after a kill and a stuff block by Mackenzie Harding, but quickly lost it and the game.
They recovered in the third game to win by 12 points.
"I don't think we came out very well," Cook said. "It's staying back and not talking a lot. It's the first time I saw my team have a breakdown in communication. But the other part is they came out and got it done."
Andover Central jumped out early on Rose Hill (21-7) in Tuesday's first match, taking a 12-3 lead after a kill by Banwart. Rose Hill tried to do the same in the second game, leading 8-4 following kills by Jordan Rehm and Kelsey Webber.
But with the Rockets leading 13-11, Andover Central scored seven straight points for a lead it didn't lose.
"We weren't aggressive when they gave us points," Rose Hill coach Leah Rempel said. "There wasn't a sense of urgency when we got the ball. We started out slow, we had some bad passes, and we started second-guessing ourselves."
Andover Central def. Andale 25-20, 26-24; def. Rose Hill 25-19, 25-22; def. Kingman 25-9, 23-25, 25-13. Andale def. Kingman 25-18, 25-15 Rose Hill def. Andale 25-21, 25-21; def. Kingman 25-16, 25-14.