Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rural Answers Semifinal Loss with Win over Rival Manhattan to Finish Third in 6A

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rural Answers Semifinal Loss with Win over Rival Manhattan to Finish Third in 6A

Article excerpt

Washburn Rural's volleyball team wanted to be on Landon Arena's other court Saturday afternoon, playing for the Class 6A state championship.

But after a 25-14, 25-22 semifinal loss to eventual state champion Olathe Northwest, the Junior Blues did the next best thing, claiming third place with a 25-17, 25-19 victory over Centennial League rival Manhattan, the 2017 league champion.

"Coming into this season from last no one expected us to even make it to the state tournament, so that in itself was a really big achievement for us, and then getting third is not where we wanted to be but it's better than what we could have been," Washburn Rural senior Payton Tremblay said.

Rural coach Kevin Bordewick, whose Junior Blues capped a 38-7 season, agreed.

"If you're going to be in (the third-place match), you might just as well win it," Bordewick said. "I really thought for three out of the four sets we played today we didn't play too bad. In the first set against Northwest we were a little deer in the headlights, but the second set we really battled. We were in that to the end. We tried to put some pressure on them, but we didn't put enough, and I thought we played really well in the third-place match for it being a third-place match."

After falling behind Olathe Northwest 16-7 en route to the first-set loss, the Junior Blues got within 23-21 in the second set after a kill from junior Carly Bachelor. But Rural couldn't get over the hump.

The Junior Blues led Manhattan through most of the first set in the third-place match and then rallied from an early 9-4 deficit in the second set to put the Indians away late, taking control after a 14-14 tie.

Bordewick said it might have helped his team get up for the third-place match knowing that Rural was playing a familiar league rival. The Junior Blues and Indians had split their previous two matches, with Manhattan rallying for a three-set victory in the most recent meeting.

"Manhattan is a big rival of ours and if we're going to go play somebody like that we definitely don't want to lay down," he said.

Tremblay agreed that it wasn't hard to get up for the Indians, even though the Junior Blues had to take the court a little more than 20 minutes after their semifinal loss. …

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