January 29, 2023

Lakin’s bid to return to state volleyball falls short

Kismet, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–In one of the most wide open sub-states in Class 3A on Saturday, the Sterling Lady Black Bears came in as the third seed, and left Southwestern Heights High School as a Sub-State Champion, as they swept each match en route to a state tournament berth on Friday in Emporia.

All matches in the tournament on Saturday were finished in two games, despite a majority of them coming within a few points difference in a set.

The top seed Lakin (32-8) cruised easily through their opening match over Syracuse (3-31), by winning 25-4, 25-3 to put themselves in the semi-finals. 

As for Cimarron and Scott City, they both had tough early exits. The Bluejays came in as the fourth seed, and fell to Larned in close matches 25-22, 25-19 to end their season at 15-19. For the Lady Beavers, they were in a tight match with Chaparral throughout. They dropped their first set 25-22. Scott City (7-26) was ahead 20-15 in the second set, when a point was awarded controversially to the Lady Roadrunners, and Chaparral took advantage and never looked back, closing out the set and match on a 10-1 run to win 25-21 to advance to the semi-finals.

Southwestern Heights (8-26) was overmatched in their lone match of the sub-state, falling to Sterling 25-15, 25-10.

In the semi-final round, Lakin for the most part controlled the match with upset-minded Larned, defeating the Lady Indians 25-16, 25-21, while Sterling had control of their match with Chaparral 25-18, 25-2o.

That set the stage for the championship match. The Lady Broncs and Lady Black Bears went back and forth in the first set, with Sterling taking the 25-23 first set win. In the second set, Sterling led a majority of the set, only to see Lakin come back to a 16 all tie. Sterling would close the match on a 9-4 run, en route to a state tournament berth in 25-20 set two win.

Sterling is the eight seed at the 3A State Tournament in Emporia on Friday and Saturday, and will have top seed Silver Lake (38-2), fourth seed Wellsville (31-8), and fifth seed and Central Kansas League foe Hesston (29-10) in their pool.