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Examiner
  • Jags stun Titans, get boost

  • Granted, victories don’t count for much in the summer months, but Blue Springs South volleyball coach Dave MacLean isn’t going to forget his team’s triumph over Lee’s Summit West on Tuesday any time soon.

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  • Granted, victories don’t count for much in the summer months, but Blue Springs South volleyball coach Dave MacLean isn’t going to forget his team’s triumph over Lee’s Summit West on Tuesday any time soon.
    The Jaguars knocked off last year’s Class 4 state runner-up 25-21, 25-23 in summer-league action at Lee’s Summit North in a contest that left MacLean beaming with optimism.
    “That was as fun a game as I’ve ever been a part of,” said MacLean, whose team also topped O’Hara 25-19, 25-17. “I know it’s summer league, but the girls really wanted to beat them because they’re the big dogs on the block.”
    The victory continued a trend of steady progress for the Jags this summer. MacLean said at the start of the offseason, he honestly wasn’t too pleased with his squad’s effort. It’s gradually improved, though, and Saturday’s team camp seemed like a major breakthrough, MacLean said. That carried over Tuesday night.
    “They’ve improved steadily, and that was our goal,” he said. “We had some moments early on in the summer that weren’t good, but at team camp Saturday our effort level was much higher.”
    While the win over the Titans comes with qualifiers – it’s still the offseason, it’s still June – senior Mia Swanegan insisted that type of effort could pay dividends once the season starts.
    “It’s huge,” she said. “We all came in with the same mindset going into the game that we just wanted to win and we wanted to work as a team and push each other to get better. Just to win, we were so excited and it shows that if we put our mind to something, then we can do it and achieve it. It was a great team effort.”
    Her coach made the same point. No, the victory won’t show up on their record once the season starts. But they will be able to draw on the memory of getting the best of one of the state’s most elite programs.
    “We do want to beat them when it counts,” MacLean said. “But not many people beat Lee’s Summit West ever. We’ll take it and we’re not going to apologize for it. It just gives our kids confidence moving forward that the hard work is paying off. We can set goals and we can achieve them. We’re not just setting them like it’s a dream.”
    In the match against O’Hara, South’s victory may not have been as thrilling, but MacLean noticed more signs of progress. He switched up his lineup, and while there were occasional stretches of sloppy play, MacLean was mostly pleased with how his squad adapted.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We mixed up our lineup a little bit and worked on our depth and I liked it,” he said. “We had some different kids and tried some different things and they really executed well. ... They’re not always perfect, but they’re trying to do what we ask them to do.”
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC
     

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