By BRETT MARSHALL
LAKIN — A week earlier, the Lakin Lady Broncs volleyball team had hosted a quadrangular with Class 3A Goodland and Scott City and Class 2A Wichita County. They finished that night's event with a 2-1 record, falling to a strong Goodland squad.
Tuesday night, just seven days later, the same Lady Broncs team returned to their home court to host a Hi-Plains League quad with Stanton County, Wichita County and Satanta. This time, they finished a perfect 3-0 to improve their season record to 11-9 and give head coach Steve Davidson a measure of optimism as the team heads into the middle part of its season.
The Broncs swept past their three HPL opponents in straight sets, defeating Stanton County (25-23, 25-13), Wichita County (25-17, 25-20) and Satanta (25-20, 25-13).
"That's the way we like it," Davidson said of his team's clean sweep. "I'm not sure we still played as well as we're capable, but the last game (against Satanta) we got things going."
Davidson said, as did other coaches Tuesday, consistency, or lack thereof, was a main problem for his team thus far.
"We're not making as many mistakes at the net as we were (earlier)," Davidson said. "That's definitely a good thing. We're not having as many hitting errors. We're still working on positioning, spacing and we're getting better at it, but we're just not doing it every time."
One of Davidson's mainstays has been senior Keyton McAtee, who has switched from being a middle blocker to an outside hitter. The change seems to be a good fit for the 5-foot-7-inch McAtee.
"I like it a lot better because I think I do a better job of hitting than I did as a blocker," McAtee said. "I'm more consistent on the outside and it just seems to be a good fit."
McAtee said she and her teammates still have a lot on which to improve.
"I don't think we're as good as we could be at times," McAtee said. "Sometimes I think we decide to play at our own level but when we beat teams like Dodge City (Class 6A) and Scott City (Class 4A), then I think we can be pretty good."
While the Lady Broncs were sweeping through their opponents, the remaining three teams exchanged beating the others. Wichita County rallied in its opener to defeat Satanta (12-25, 25-22, 25-19), came back to defeat Stanton County in three sets (20-25, 25-13, 25-12) before falling to the Broncs in their finale.
"It wasn't the kind of night that I was looking for," said Satanta coach Ashton Wenta. "We just didn't seem to be ready to play and it showed. We've got a lot of work to do."
Wichita County's first-year coach Julie Conard felt much the same way after her team's 1-2 performance.
"We've got a lot of girls out this year but we're still learning how to play together as a team," said Conard, who had been the assistant the previous six seasons. "But we're competing and playing hard."
Stanton County got its lone victory in the final match of the night over Wichita County as they came back from an opening set 20-25 loss to win the final two sets by scores of 25-21, 25-16.
"We weren't very good for much of the night, but it's good to get this last one and go home on a positive note," Stanton County coach Andrea Jones said.