Indians sweep at Emporia

By Grant Guggisberg

After taking the weekend off, the Manhattan High volleyball team was well rested for its quadrangular meet in Emporia on Tuesday, and it paid off.

The Indians swept the meet, going 3-0 against Highland Park, Washburn Rural and Emporia.

Manhattan opened with Highland Park and had a short match, winning 25-2, 25-5. Jessie Kujawa had six kills to lead the way, while Kelsey Schroll and Savannah Thaemert each had four kills. Aubrey Jung had 15 assists and Matty Mahan had two digs and two aces, in what was largely an offensive game.

“We didn’t have much in the way of blocking or digs, because they weren’t attacking as much,” Manhattan assistant coach Katie Ball said. “It was pretty much an offensive game for us, but the girls played really well.”

In the second match of the night, Manhattan got its toughest test in a matchup with Rural. The Indians needed three sets, but they pulled out the win, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21.

The Junior Blues aren’t quite as good as they’ve been in past years, but still provided the Indians with a tough challenge.

Schroll and Kaci Cink each had 10 kills for Manhattan, with Kujawa adding seven and Lauren Goralczyk getting six. Jung had 30 assists and Mahan had 10 digs. The Indians were also solid on the blocks, with Schroll and Kujawa each getting four solo blocks.

“We came out and played well in the first set, then let them come back in the end,” Ball said. “Then Washburn Rural came out really strong in the second set and we got down. But as a whole we played really well against Washburn Rural.”

In the final match of the night, Manhattan defeated Emporia 25-20, 25-13 to get the sweep, despite being exhausted after a long match with Rural.

Cink led with eight kills, while Jung had 23 assists. Savannah Roberts had six digs and Mahan had two aces.

“Emporia was really good defensively — they dug up a ton of balls and got them back to us,” Ball said. “They didn’t have a ton of height or a ton of hitters, so we just kept hitting it at them. We were really gassed from playing Washburn Rural in three sets.”

Ball said she was proud of the team’s ability to overcome adversity in the Rural match.

“As a whole on the night, they played really well,” she said. “We had a spot in the Washburn Rural match when we got down in the second set and let them win. But they kept their composure and came back and really dominated the third set. I was proud of them for doing that — they kept fighting.”

Manhattan hosts the 10-team Manhattan Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.

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