There were no surprises on the first day of the Class 4 District 14 volleyball tournament at Blue Springs High School.
The host Blue Springs Wildcats topped Raytown South 25-10, 25-12; Lee’s Summit North got past Warrensburg 25-10, 25-13; and Blue Springs South overcame a slow start to beat Raytown 25-19, 25-8.
Blue Springs will take a 12-17 record into its 5:30 p.m. semifinal match against top-seeded 22-9-2 Truman (22-9-2), and No. 3 North (13-15-1) will meet No. 2 Blue Springs South (19-11-1) at 7 tonight at Blue Springs.
“Our girls were pumped for this match,” Blue Springs coach Katie Grusing said after the Wildcats kicked off the district tourney with the opening match. “We’re at home, which they are excited about, and we played well tonight.”
Rhea Moses was equally pleased with her Broncos following the victory over Warrensburg.
“The girls didn’t look past Warrensburg, thinking they might play (Suburban Big Six rival) South,” Moses said. “The girls did what we expected them to do. Now, we can concentrate on Blue Springs South, and we’re looking forward to that matchup.”
Coach Dave MacLean’s Jaguars were not the picture of perfection in their opening set against the Blue Jays, but they dominated the second set to claim the match in two games.
“We’re like a diesel engine,” MacLean said. “It takes a while for us to warm up. But once we do, we play well. We weren’t at our best in the first set, but I really liked what I saw in the second set.”
Senior Angelica Camareno starred in the second set, serving back-to-back aces and the final five points of the second set to spark the Jaguars.
“We’re all excited about district, especially the seniors,” Camareno said, “because this is our last district, and we really want to win it and keep playing.”
When asked about her serving at the end of the set, she smiled and said, “I’ll do whatever it takes to win. It was exciting serving those two aces and the last five points. We played a lot better in the second set, and that’s exciting because now is the time of the season you want to play your best ball.”
Standout senior middle blocker Mia Swanegan backed that comment.
“There was really no fear tonight of looking past Raytown to Lee’s Summit North, who is a conference opponent,” Swanegan said. “We didn’t play very well the first set, but we really played well in the second set.
Page 2 of 2 - “Angelica did a great job serving at the end, and I really see this team coming together and playing some great volleyball throughout the rest of district and hopefully beyond. We don’t want this season to end. We’re all having too much fun.”
MacLean said if they continue to play like they did in the second set, this could be a special tournament for the Jaguars.
“We have nice depth, and the girls have accepted their roles,” he said. “Now is the time to be playing our best ball, and I’d really like to see a senior step up and take control and really become a leader on this team. We have great seniors, but they are so quiet – we need someone to really step up their game and become a leader out on the court and at practice.”
CLASS 4, DISTRICT 15: Opening matches in the district tournament at North Kansas City High School didn’t turn out well for William Chrisman and Fort Osage.
Chrisman fell 25-21, 25-23 to the host school Monday night. A strong St. Teresa’s team stopped Fort Osage 25-13, 25-7.
“I had to say goodbye to some pretty neat girls,” Chrisman coach Dean Rausch said. “All in all we competed well. We peaked at the right time. We were competitive in most matches. We lose four seniors, but I have a solid base of five coming back.
"We played hard and it was nip-and-tuck until the end. We had a little trouble with our serve receive and they attacked a little better. Our girls did an amazing job, but we wanted to go at least one more."
Rachel Losch had six kills and three blocks, Tiffini Jones added six kills, Makenzie Erikson had nine digs and Chrissy HoChee contributed three blocks as Chrisman ended an 12-18-1 season.
Fort Osage finished at 6-21-2.
CLASS 3 DISTRICT 15: Dalanie Krogman led the way as Van Horn defeated host Northeast 25-17, 25-15 in a first-round match in the Class 3 District 15 tournament.
“She had a couple of big kills and had a long streak of serves,” Van Horn coach Lindsey Hartzell said of Krogman. “It’s a big district win, and that’s what important.
Van Horn improved to 7-15-2 and will face Smithville at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals.