Varsity Kansas

Northwest, Maize advance in 6A volleyball

HAYSVILLE — For the Northwest and Maize girls volleyball teams, the formula was easy. Be aggressive and just keep hitting.

The formula worked as both earned spots in the Class 6A volleyball tournament by winning their sub-states Saturday at Campus. The 6A tournament starts Friday at the Topeka Expocentre.

Northwest beat No. 1 seed Goddard in its final 25-16, 26-24. It's the Grizzlies' first trip to state for coach Diane Popp.

"This is pretty sweet," Popp said. "The girls did awesome. They never got rattled and they played their best volleyball and they played it at the right time."

Northwest took control of the first game with an 8-1 run to get a 13-6 lead when the offense started to come together. Alaina Shine, Nicole Daniels, McKenzi Lewis and Kimberlin Johnston all had kills in the run. The Grizzlies ended the first game with a 4-0 run after Goddard closed within 21-16.

The second game was much more of a battle for Northwest in which the largest lead was three points. Lewis led the attack for the Grizzlies, getting four kills, but Northwest became a little less aggressive until it trailed 24-23.

"We started to tip a lot in the last game, but if we stay aggressive we know we can play with anybody in state," Shine said.

The Grizzlies finished with three consecutive points.

"The girls wanted it," Popp said. "I told the girls yesterday how proud of them I was for not thinking 'if' we make state, but 'when.' That mentality took over in that last game and they wanted it."

In the other pool, Maize had to be the aggressor the way North played defense. Maize defeated North 25-18, 25-21.

North, which beat No. 2 seed Dodge City in the first round, handled the hard-hitting offense of the Eagles well.

In the first game, neither team could grab momentum. Maize had three consecutive points, but that was the most up to a 17-17 tie. The balls that North had been getting to during the first part of the game started to fall as the Eagles went on an 8-1 run to end the game.

"The girls just stayed aggressive and that's kind of what they've done all year," Maize coach Betsy Martling said.

But again, North would hang with the Eagles. Maize kept hitting and as North led 11-9, the Redskins were doing all they could to stop the offensive attack.

"We were blocking, we tried our best we could," North coach Andrea Scheideman said. "We tripled them, we did everything we could out there. We've built our program up to this game and the girls not once lost on mistakes. It was just good volleyball."

McKenzie Hartzog, who had a match-high 11 kills, and Lindsey Jones, who had five kills in the final game, kept on swinging for the Eagles and finished off North with their offense.

Sub-state A: Maize def. North 25-18, 25-21. Maize def. Garden City 25-18, 25-19. North def. Dodge City 25-15, 12-25, 25-21.

Sub-state B: Northwest def. Goddard 25-16, 26-24. Northwest def. Campus 25-16, 25-22. Goddard def. South 25-19, 25-7.

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