Before his team’s championship match against Truman in its home tournament Saturday, William Chrisman coach Dean Rausch said he was very tired, but the girls had played well all day and lifted his spirits.
Given that Rausch had left town late Thursday night for a family funeral in central Kansas and returned early Saturday morning, it is likely he still felt tired following the match. The latter feelings about his Bears also held true, even though rival Truman claimed the Chrisman Tournament title with a convincing 25-9, 25-13 win.
Despite entering Saturday with an 0-4 record, Chrisman won all three of its pool matches plus two more in bracket play before falling to Truman for the second time this season, ending the day at 5-5.
“We played pretty well all day, but it was a matter of just getting those fundamentals down,” Rausch said. “Anytime you have a crosstown rivalry, tradition is a nice thing to have, and (the Patriots) have a nice tradition. We’ll be working on ours. (Truman coach Denise Craig) has got a good crew this year.”
“I saw a great amount of growth today. We worked on some rotations and found something that was nice. We’ve simplified things, and I think we’ve got people in the places they need to be.”
Craig, whose team improved to 9-1 by beating Chrisman for the championship, said she noted the Bears’ effort throughout the day.
“Whenever I saw Chrisman, they were playing tough all day,” she said.
The Patriots downed Kansas City East Christian (25-13, 25-19), Raytown South (25-18, 25-13) and Van Horn (25-7, 25-17) in pool play, then beat KC East Christian again (25-21, 25-6) to start bracket play. In the semifinals, Truman had to rally past Concordia St. Paul Lutheran 23-25, 25-19, 25-15.
Down 18-13 in the first set, Truman rallied within 18-17 but couldn’t get the tying point against the Saints. The Patriots raced to a 12-2 lead into the second, only to see the Saints rally to make it 17-16. But Lexi Hart killed the next three points, Becca Jonas’ next two serves resulted in a receiving error and an ace to make it 21-16, and a Rachel McKiddie kill finished the set.
Truman claimed an early 5-0 lead in the third, then, after St. Paul closed within 11-9, ran off eight in a row to regain control.
“I think that was probably the best match of the day for us,” Craig said. “That team (St. Paul) was funky and fun, because they were getting every ball.
“We lost to Ray-Pec (Wednesday), and they practiced really hard Thursday and came back were ready for more Friday,” Craig said. “If we’d lost that game, could’ve been a mess, but we came back.”
Though the finals match was less dramatic, Craig said that was no slight to Chrisman.
“I thought it was a fun day for all the teams, and Chrisman played so well,” she said.
Hart finished with 57 kills and 13 total blocks over the six matches to pace Truman’s front line, while Jonas added 36 and seven, respectively. Bri Savidge notched 24 kills and 15 aces, Allie Webb 15 and six and McKiddie 12 and five; Abby Hix recorded a team-high 26 digs; and Dani Skoch dished out 117 assists.
Chrisman’s pool-play wins came over St. Paul Lutheran (25-16, 27-25), Grandview (25-13, 25-17) and Ruskin (25-17, 25-16). Rachel Losch tallied 19 kills over the three matches, Haley Rodriguez had nine kills and five aces, Chrisha Riley-Anderson eight kills and Jordyn Atagi 42 assists.
In a 25-23, 25-14 quarterfinal win over Harrisonville, Losch had nine kills, Liz Snow seven digs and four aces, Rodriguez five blocks and Atagi 11 assists. A 25-16, 25-20 semifinal win over Marshall saw Losch register six kills and Rodriguez four, Snow six digs and Atagi nine assists.
Losch had five kills and Atagi seven assists and three blocks against Truman.
In addition to its loss to Truman, Van Horn split against KC East Christian (8-25, 25-21) and fell 25-11, 25-8 to Raytown South.
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