When Kapaun Mount Carmel lost to Bishop Carroll in its third volleyball match of the season, it was ugly.
Carroll dominated in a sweep with barely a whimper from Kapaun.
That seems to have changed.
Kapaun is 11-2, with its other loss coming to Valley Center. Kapaun has also beaten Carroll (at the Valley Center tournament) and swept Heights last Tuesday.
The Crusaders play Carroll at East tonight.
"We definitely played badly that (first) Carroll match," Kapaun coach Terri Hessman said. "Not ever taking anything away from Carroll, but we played badly and we never got it going.
"We have really focused on team effort and team unity. Just having each other's back. They have done a great job with it and they get along great."
Kapaun, which plays a 6-2 offense with Leah Grant as one of the setters, has a solid group of hitters. When one struggles, another comes through.
"Really, it's somebody picks up the slack every time," Hessman said. "That's what I told them — I look up digs and five, six girls have good numbers. I look up every single (statistical) section and someone is down that evening but someone has picked it up."
Kapaun hopes to remain as a City League contender after a losing 2008 season, Hessman's career first.
"We only lost two kids from last year," said Hessman, in her 14th season. "Experience definitely has helped us, and I feel really fortunate that we have great kids that are working hard and they made a priority to get along as a team."
A winning streak — Cedar Vale-Dexter opened its season losing matches to Inman and Sedgwick.
Since then, Cedar Vale-Dexter has gone on a 21-match winning streak that included a 35-game win streak. The game winning streak ended last Tuesday when Argonia took Cedar Vale-Dexter to three games.
"We have seven seniors that play," said coach Carla Fulsom, who also plays two juniors. "That would be the key. How often do you have that many seniors at this level? Never. Usually you're borrowing from the sophomores and freshmen."
Cedar Vale-Dexter plays Elk Valley and Central-Burden tonight.
Digging pink — Hesston is dedicating tonight's triangular with Wichita Collegiate and Smoky Valley to breast cancer awareness.
Fans can donate money to the Side-Out Foundation for breast cancer research and are encouraged to wear pink to show their support.