Varsity volleyball stays hot with a win against Eudora

Sophomore Haley Cuba sets the ball to Senior Jackie Kennard at a game versus Louisburg High School.

Wildcat Photo

Sophomore Haley Cuba sets the ball to Senior Jackie Kennard at a game versus Louisburg High School.

Emma Bascom, Editor-in-Chief

The De Soto High School varsity volleyball team beat Eudora High School in three sets (25-14, 25-19, 25-21) at Eudora’s Dig Pink game on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

During the first game, the DHS Wildcats took an early, commanding lead and showed dominance on the court due to senior middle hitter Jackie Kennard’s powerful presence and a long serving run from sophomore libero Maya Bascom. The EHS Cardinals made a 7 point run for a big comeback after being down 15-5, but DHS quickly regained control and won 25-14.

In the second game, service aces from Bascom, sophomore defensive specialist Kendall Schmidt and sophomore setter Kennedy Higgins brought the Wildcats to an early lead. Blocks from sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Bell and sophomore middle hitter Ally Barnhart were key in keeping the Cardinals from making a comeback. DHS was able to hold onto their lead throughout the game and won 25-19.

The third game was significantly closer because Eudora surged to an early lead, not allowing De Soto to gain momentum. The Cardinals took a strong lead for the first time in the match, but De Soto caught up to them, tying the game at 15, then 16, 17, and again at 18. Sophomore setter/outside hitter Haley Cuba, sophomore outside hitter Cassidy Crist and freshman right side hitter Taylor Ellis had effective attacks on the ball which allowed the Wildcats to regain control of the game, winning 25-21.

For Bascom, a big key to the game was the setters beginning to move the ball to give more hitters opportunities, which is something the Wildcats have been focusing on in practice. However, the most important moment came from a team huddle between points in the third set.

“In the third game, it was very close, like 18-18 and there was a pause. The refs were talking, and we all huddled and talked about how we needed to improve our play and step it up,” Bascom said. “After that time out, Kaitlyn got a great kill and from that play on, we had way more energy and were able to get the win.”

According to Cuba, the win against Eudora was huge for the team.

“This feels amazing because now we’re one step closer to getting the league champions, and we’ve been working towards that all year. That’s what we want,” Cuba said.

Eudora is also one of De Soto’s conference rivals, making the win even more important.

“I’ve heard that Eudora is one of the better [volleyball] schools and they’re kind of a rival, plus they’ve always been good in the past,” Crist said.

The win also helped to secure De Soto’s position as Frontier League leaders, as they are still undefeated in league play.

“[Being in first is] a good reminder that hard work pays off, but we know that we have a target on our back right now, and we need to continue to play our hardest every game and continue to work hard,” Bascom said.

The team’s next game is away against Bonner Springs High School on Thursday, Sept. 22.