• Blue Springs digs deep for sweep of rival Jaguars

  • It was billed as “Dig Pink,” a highly anticipated volleyball match between crosstown rivals Blue Springs and host Blue Springs South.

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  • It was billed as “Dig Pink,” a highly anticipated volleyball match between crosstown rivals Blue Springs and host Blue Springs South.
    The Jaguars’ gym looked like cotton candy, which was being sold in the commons area, to complement the breast cancer awareness theme in which players from both teams and most fans were decked out in pink gear from head to toe.
    But when it was over, Wildcats coach Katie Grusing was digging the way her team performed as Blue Springs claimed a 25-12, 25-21 victory to remain undefeated in the Suburban Big Six Conference and clinch at least a share of the league title.
    “I'm so happy,” Grusing said after Blue Springs improved to 18-5 overall and 8-0 in conference action. “The girls came over here and really wanted to perform well, and they did. They were so unselfish. They did everything it took to win.”
    Erin Bodenstab dove over the Wildcat bench to save one point, Bri Starr and Marissa Butrum somehow avoided colliding at center court as they dove to make a remarkable save that led to another point, and Starr led Blue Springs with 12 kills.
    “Bri had a great night – all the girls had a great night,” Grusing said. “We had 50 serves tonight with seven aces and no errors. That just tells you how well we played.”
    South coach Dave MacLean wished he could say the same thing about his 11-12, 4-5 squad as it struggled in the first game.
    “When we decided to pass the ball in the second game, at least we made it exciting,” said MacLean, who was wishing for a win as Thursday night was his birthday. “We work on serve-receive all the time, but you couldn't tell it by watching us tonight.
    “Their girls are diving for balls, going 100 miles per hour and we just stood around the first game. It would have really been a disappointing night if we hadn't played better in the second game.”
    South setter Breeana O'Sullivan said the Jaguars battled nerves the first game, and that it took one set to get into a rhythm on the court.
    “We were nervous and we weren't focused at all the first game,” O'Sullivan said. “This is such a special night with the breast cancer awareness and everyone wearing pink, and we wanted to play for each other, for our fans and for the cause.
    “We didn't do that at all the first game, but we played better in the second game.”
    For Blue Springs seniors Starr and Holly Tarvin, it was a night of mixed emotions.
    “I don't want to cry, because this is a bittersweet night,” Tarvin said. “They beat us last year and we really wanted to win this year – especially the seniors. It's such a great night, an emotional night and it was fun to play so well in both games.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This is one of those matches you'll never forget.”
    Starr will have a link to future Dig Pink matches because her sister, freshman Alicia Starr, will have three more years with the Wildcats.
    “I was so proud of Alicia, especially when she got that kill late in the second game,” Bri Starr said. “This is an emotional night. It's the last time I'll play in a Dig Pink game and the last time we'll play South (in the regular season). At least I'll be able to talk to Alicia the next three years about what this game means to her and her teammates.”
    Julia Towler led the Jaguars with eight kills and Mia Swanegan added six.

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