By KIM BOGNER
LAKIN — It was a clean sweep, 3-0. Goodland High School took it all and ran with it back to northeastern Kansas. The Goodland Cowgirls along with Lakin, Scott City and Wichita County competed in a quadrangular volleyball tournament Tuesday at Lakin High School. Lakin was second at 2-1, Scott City was 1-2 and Wichita County was winless in its three matches.
Lakin faced off against Goodland to start the tournament while Scott City and Wichita County played the other opening match. The first set of the Lakin-Goodland match ended in a 25-17 loss for the Broncs but they bounced back in the second and took the Cowgirls with a hard fought 25-22 win. However, Lakin lacked consistency and was unable to win the tiebreaker set. The final score was 25-11.
"We picked it up that second game but they got on a roll in the third and we could not stop them," Garden City Telegram's 2009 fall sports coach of the year and Lakin head coach Steve Davidson said. "They are solid. They run some plays that we don't see. We are not a real great blocking team because we are not very big and they are pretty big. They play a lot of good competition and I know they just came from Denver and played some good volleyball up there."
Consistency has been a problem for the Broncs all year, especially in their last tournament.
"We have been struggling and we have beat some good teams," Davidson said. "We beat Dodge City the other day but right now we are just not real consistent. We've got to be more consistent. We will play really good against good teams and we'll fall asleep at other times. We have to learn to compete against everybody no matter who is on the other side. We have to do our job on our side of the net."
On the other side of the gym, Scott City was taking the game completely away from Wichita County. In just two sets the Beavers took down the Indians with the scores of 25-16 and 25-11. There were many long serving streaks by the Beavers in this game including a couple by senior outside hitter Emily Hess.
"That was a game that we expect to win," Scott City first-year coach Jordan Shay said. "The girls looked pretty good and we put together some runs. We have been having some good practices, putting together some plays. We have been hitting really well. We have struggled at times with putting that game away but overall they did pretty well."
The next match up was Lakin and Wichita County. Resembling Scott City vs. Wichita County, Lakin came out strong and took the match in just two sets. Allie Jones for Lakin got the team going in the first set, serving for seven points.
The ending score of the first set was 25-9. In the second set instead of Jones with the long serving streak it was fellow senior Keyton McAtee serving for 12 points.
"We were just hoping to bounce bask," Davidson said. "We were down after that (Goodland) game because we didn't play well and we know we could have played better. It is just a matter of getting out there and doing it. To get ahead of them pretty good that helps. We kind of relaxed although I don't really want them to relax. I just want them to react and not think too much. We did a good job against them and were able to come back and play pretty well."
While Lakin was mimicking Scott City's performance against Wichita County, Goodland was headed for another victory against the Beavers. The Beavers put up a fight but in the end Goodland came out with the victory in three sets. For a while Scott City had the first set in reach but lost it at the end with a score of 25-21. The second set ran much more smoothly for the Beavers and they won convincingly 25-17. The third set ended in a Goodland victory, 25-20.
"The third set they just had a little bit more than us," Shay said. "We had a lot of really good rallies and a lot of long rallies and you could tell that it was wearing on us a bit."
For the last two matchups of the night, Goodland took on Wichita County and the Beavers faced off against the Broncs.
Like the previous two matches, Goodland took the Indians in just two sets but added a twist. Instead of starting their two key players they switched it up. Jennifer Rome and Ashley Archer led the Cowgirls to victory in the previous two games but did not play much in the third game. Although the rest of the team picked it up and beat the Indians, 25-18 and 25-19.
Meanwhile, an intense battle was building on Lakin's side of the gym. The first match ended in Lakin's favor, 25-18, and it looked as if the second set was going to end with the same score favoring the Broncs. A late effort by Scott City narrowed the deficit, but Lakin came away a 25-21 winner.
"We played the way we were capable of playing," Davidson said of his team. "They (Scott City) were down a little bit after getting beat, I'm sure. But we jumped out on them early, which is important when you have a team mentally not real focused. You need to go out and make sure you jump on them. They came back on us and we stuck with them."
The Broncs are now 8-9 this season, having played 12 of those matches within the last week.
The Scott City team is 4-2 and will host a home quad on Thursday before traveling to Liberal on Saturday.
"This is my first year as a head coach and our season is really just getting heated up right now," Shay said. "The girls are improving everyday and I'm pretty excited."