By CONOR NICHOLL
Backed by Briggs’ return, defense and experienced setter, Quinter emerging as darkhorse candidate
On Tuesday, Quinter volleyball delivered three quality victories. The Bulldogs defeated Wallace County (28-26, 25-22); beat Dighton (25-16, 25-19) and edged Tribune-Greeley County (25-16, 25-19).
Entering the match, Quinter was 1-9 in in its 10 matches against both Dighton and Wallace County. The Bulldogs had lost two straight to Dighton and WC, including a loss to DHS on Aug. 30. Greeley County has enjoyed a stellar season and ranked seventh in Class 1A, Division II by the Kansas coaches.
Quinter is among a group of darkhorse candidates that could reach the state tournament. The Bulldogs were 5-24, 3-28, 6-25 and 8-27 the last four falls. After Tuesday, Quinter stands at 14-13.
The Bulldogs will host their own sub-state in Class 1A, Division I. KSHSAA released sub-state seedings and hosts late last week. St. Francis paces the Quinter sub-state at 21-7, Victoria is 14-8, and Lakeside stands at 13-9.
Quinter has not played Victoria or Lakeside and has a close three-set loss to St. Francis on Sept. 20: 21-25, 25-23, 25-18. Quinter has key pieces to make a deep postseason run and ranks among the state leaders in blocks and digs.
Plus, senior Cashlyn Kvasnicka recently went over 1,000 career assists. Senior Anna Briggs started her career in Quinter. She played two years for the Bulldogs, relocated to York, Neb. in a family move, and then back to Quinter. She, junior Kelsey Selensky, junior Kennedy Werth and sophomore Bryn Gillespie are the top hitters.
The 6-foot-2 Briggs is easily the team’s leader in percentage at a .314 clip. She is currently second in Kansas in blocks, one behind Baldwin’s Fisayo Afonja, an Ivy League Brown University commit.
Last year, Briggs played at York and set the single season block record for York basketball with 80. Briggs was first team all-conference and helped York reach the state basketball tournament. York finished 21-5. In her two seasons with Quinter basketball, Briggs collectively averaged 10.8 and 10.4 rebounds a contest.
Senior Kaitlyn Countryman is top-5 all classes in aces at 57. Briggs has 109 blocks, while Countryman has 87. Senior Paige Bell and sophomore Addie Hargitt, both high-level softball players who are talented enough to play college softball, have been strong on defense.
Bell has 252 digs (5.9 per set) and Hargitt has 234 (4.0 per set). Overall, Quinter has delivered 3.3 blocks and 20.9 digs per set, huge defensive improvements from last fall. Quinter had 0.6 blocks and 10.9 blocks per set last year.
Foster hits milestone for Wheatland-Grinnell
Just a few miles away, QHS’ Gove County rival Wheatland-Grinnell coach Shannon Foster hit 300 career victories. The Thunderhawks are a perennial state power and stand at 14-14 this year.
The Thunderhawks have a strong eight-player rotation. Junior Karoline Schroeder easily leads W-G with 223 kills. Senior Kerri Heier has 114 kills and paces with 332 assists and 39 aces.
The Thunderhawks typically play in much larger tournaments. From Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, W-G lost eight straight matches, including three in three sets. That included two to 3A Colby, one to 3A Goodland, one to 3A Scott City and one to 3A Norton. Plus, W-G lost to Lebo, ranked second in Class 1A, Division II.
Lebo is 17-1, and Goodland is 23-3.
On Monday, W-G defeated Weskan in two sets and Dighton in three. The Thunderhawks are seeded third in the Golden Plains sub-state behind GP (16-7) and Northern Valley (16-11). W-G defeated Golden Plains on Sept. 10 and lost to NV on Aug. 30.
The Thunderhawks also split with St. Francis on Sept. 10. SF has been a ranked 1A team this fall.
W-G has qualified for state in ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18, ’20 and ’21. In ’20, W-G was fourth. The Thunderhawks took third in ’17, second in ’16 and won in ’15.
Rossville, Doniphan West among other darkhorses
Rossville junior Kinsey Perine cleared 1,000 career kills, and Kyra Johnson eclipsed the 1,500 career assist milestone for Doniphan West.
Rossville is 25-3 and headlines the Silver Lake sub-state. West Franklin is 25-5, while SL stands at 23-8, and Olathe Heritage Christian Academy (HCA) is 20-7. This is unquestionably the toughest 3A sub-state and maybe the hardest for 3A on down classes.
HCA is the definite favorite after it won 2A and 3A the last two falls and features its pair of Power 5 junior commits: Rachel Van Gorp (Iowa State) and Cy Rae Campbell (Wake Forest). Two of Rossville’s three losses have come against Silver Lake. Rossville does own quality wins against Ottawa, Wamego, two against Rock Creek, Jackson Heights and Royal Valley.
This past week, Rossville moved into the 3A rankings at No. 10. Royal Valley is ninth in 3A, and Jackson Heights seventh in 2A. HCA is ranked second in 3A.
Rossville has an opportunity for its fourth straight season of increased wins after 21, 25 and 30 the past three falls. The 5-foot-6 Perine has 1,001 career kills in 217 sets for an impressive 4.6 per set. That includes 6.5 per set this year.
Doniphan West headlines the Class 1A, Division I Centralia sub-state where the top-five teams are .500 or better. DW, as noted by SIK last fall, has made huge strides in volleyball the last several years. While Centralia is one of Kansas’ all-time great powers, DW defeated the Panthers in a wild three-set match Sept. 6: 25-27, 25-18, 25-22.
In 2017, DW won one match. Under coach Andrea Keller, the Mustangs have risen to eight, 10, 16 and 25 victories the last couple years. DW was 1-16 all-time against the Panthers before the win.
Blue Valley Southwest takes close losses, wins another tournament; avenges earlier season defeats
Last Tuesday, SIK highlighted Blue Valley Southwest’s big turnaround. Last Wednesday, BVSW narrowly lost to St. James Academy and Blue Valley in a pair of three-set losses.
SJA is ranked in the top-35 nationally and No. 2 in 5A. Blue Valley is fourth in 6A.
Southwest fell to St. James 25-27, 25-12, 26-24. The T-Wolves delivered eight aces, including five from senior Reese Bates, who flummoxed SJA early in the match.
Against Blue Valley, Southwest again won the first set and lost the next two. Over the weekend, SW won the Spring Hill tournament. First-year coach Austin Isham had noted to SIK that Southwest had let couple earlier season matches slip, including against Spring Hill.
He expected to see Spring Hill again. In the tournament, Southwest beat SH in two sets and dispatched Lansing and Olathe East in three. Entering Tuesday, Southwest stood at 18-11. BVSW was 17-47 in the last two falls. Spring Hill was No. 10 5A by the Kansas coaches.
Willow Weninger and Kaylee Tingey continue to lead Southwest in hitting with 3.1 and 2.6 kills per set. Jordan Elliot is tops in blocks at 40. Hadley Porter is among the state’s top liberos and is putting up all-state numbers with 4.1 digs per set.
Southwest is currently seeded eighth in 5A East with St. James, Aquinas and Lansing as the top-three teams. Southwest has never made state volleyball.
Before Saturday, Southwest was 1-2 against Spring Hill and took a 2-0 loss to Lansing on Sept. 22.
Topeka Seaman are the undefeated United Kansas Conference champions. Seaman is sixth in 5A.
Like St. James, Washburn Rural is ranked in the top-35 nationally by MaxPreps. WR features Brooklyn Deleye, a Kentucky commit and reigning Gatorade Player of the Year. The Junior Blues face Olathe Northwest on Wednesday. The teams plan to honor volleyball officials before the game, which has been a neat event throughout the state the past couple of days. Northwest has junior Sky Pierce, the nation’s top recruit and Nebraska commit. ONW’s Jillian Huckabey recent committed to Division I Florida International.
Washburn Rural is ranked first in 6A, Northwest second. Legendary WR coach Kevin Bordewick became the third volleyball coach in Kansas history to clear 1,000 wins. Julie Slater, currently at Pleasant Ridge after a long stint at Lansing, and Bordewick are the winningest active coaches. Bordewick has seven state volleyball titles, two in girls’ basketball.
Coach Linda Haring reached 500 wins at Sylvan-Lucas. S-L is fifth in 1A, Division I. Keeli Knobbe recently cleared 1,000 career kills.
Ellis’ Kylee Pfeifer reached her goal of 1,000 career assists Tuesday against WaKeeney-Trego. Ellis won its own tournament last weekend and will be featured on SIK next week. The Railroaders have made sizable gain this fall.
In a key 5A West matchup, Hutchinson defeated Maize South on Tuesday. Maize South won the Ottawa tournament last weekend. In the new classifications, Hutchinson dropped down from 6A to 5A. Hutchinson was ranked seventh in 5A, Maize South third in 5A.
Hutchinson is 27-5 and has won eight straight. Hutchinson won 25-13, 25-18. Overall, Maliyah Johnson leads with 4.1 kills per set and a .331 average. Mya Thompson has 3.4 kills per set, and Rachel Tomac carries a .330 hitting average. Aliyah Green has 43 blocks, Grace Posch paces with 3.3 digs a set, and Josie McLean has 658 assists, which is top-5 all classes.
Maize South stands at 18-3. Gracie Morrow and Jillian Gregory are Maize South’s top-two hitters with 3.7 and 3.5 kills per set. Avery Lowe, a Nebraska-Kearney basketball commit, paces with 35 blocks. Setter Camdyn Stucky has committed to Tennessee and has 368 assists.
Smoky Valley junior Hope Duncan is one of Kansas’ top all-around players. Duncan recently passed 500 career kills, digs and serve-receives.
Phillipsburg’s Heather Schemper tallied 1,000 career kills. Schemper is former all-state volleyball and a track state champion. She missed most of volleyball and all of basketball with injury. Schemper has committed to Washburn.
Jackson Heights won the Valley Falls tournament. JH is ranked seventh in 2A.
Smith Center won Concordia tournament. SC, second and first the last two seasons in 2A, is ranked third in 2A.
Emery Keebaugh went over 1,000 kills for Ottawa. The Cyclones are the defending 4A runner-up.
Marysville’s Bella Rader reached 1,500 career assists.
Norton’s Erika Miller, Wabaunsee’s Annie Wright and Little River’s Kate Ellwood reached 1,000 assists
For the first time in school history, Oakley won its own tournament.
Silver Lake won its home tournament, and Hoxie won the Oberlin tournament last weekend.
Statewide Leaders (MaxPreps or emailed to [email protected])
Harris, Inman, 435
Lujan, Belle Plaine, 360
Budke, Beloit, 352
Keebaugh, Ottawa, 316
Thomasson, Riverton, 304
White, Baxter Springs, 298
Senecaut, Girard, 297
Davidson, Minneapolis, 292
Perine, Rossville, 281
Stein, Ingalls, 280
Young, Pretty Prairie, 279
Werth, Hillsboro, 277
Laincz, Lansing, 275
Barth, Baldwin, 272
Atkins, Hanover, 256
Stark, Osage City, 256
Thomasson, Riverton, .471
Stein, Ingalls, .441
Stover, Neodesha, .421
Randall, Flinthills, .399
Romer, KMC, .392
Singhateh, Eureka, .388
Young, Pretty Prairie, .377
Stowell, Olathe West, .373
Budke, Beloit, .365
Wells, Riverton, .364
McDonald, Shawnee Mission East, .364
Pierce, Olathe Northwest, .361
Testrake, Olathe West, .358
Knobbe, Sylvan-Lucas, .357
Pyle, Frontenac, .357
Behnke, Ellinwood, .357
Woods, Inman, 708
Follis, Beloit, 659
McLean, Hutchinson, 658
Bergan, Baldwin, 636
Creason, SM Northwest, 630
Gardner, Spring Hill, 573
Peterson, Blue Valley, 565
Ko, Pleasant Ridge, 563
Scanlon, Lansing, 556
Allen, Olathe West, 545
Lehman, Goodland, 523
Baker, Ellinwood, 522
Compton, Riverton, 519
Baldock, Tonganoxie, 518
Suderman, Hillsboro, 517
Weller, Clay Center, 516
Koontz, Newton, 418
Kremeier, Herington, 376
Atkins, Hanover, 374
Kanaga, Mulvane, 374
Troike, Girard, 357
Adolph, Cheney, 355
Anderes, Salina South, 351
Cornelsen, Holcomb, 338
Hett, Marion, 333
Munson, Arkansas City, 315
Jones, Holcomb, 312
Bainter, Hoxie, 309
Bender, Abilene, 308
Wright, Clay Center, 291
Traffas, Attica, 289
Afonja, Baldwin, 110
Briggs, Quinter, 109
Hawkinson, Elyria Christian, 102
Coughlin, Olpe, 98
Countryman, Quinter, 87
Wurtz, Clifton-Clyde, 79
Pasquarelli, Erie, 75
Olander, Little River, 71
Lohman, Iola, 69
Grimes, Aquinas, 69
Cure, Goodland, 68
Gerety, Nemaha Central, 68
Hoffman, Udall, 65
Luna, Great Bend, 65
Respress, Eisenhower, 64
Martin, SM Northwest, 64
Wiles, Beloit St. John’s-Tipton, 66
Sutton, Marmaton Valley, 65
Alvarez, Kiowa County, 64
Girty, Flinthills, 61
Cisneros, Liberal, 60
Higbie, West Franklin, 57
Countryman, Quinter, 57
Rodrigurz, Sumner Academy, 57
Randall, Flinthills, 56
Cure, KMC, 55
Hett, Marion, 55
Wight, Flinthills, 55
Dark, Attica, 54
Holling, Thunder Ridge, 54
Walker, Basehor-Linwood, 54