With just one more set of matches next week before sub-state, every win and loss becomes more important for the Manhattan High volleyball team.
On a trip to Hayden for a quad along with Washburn Rural and Lawrence, the Indians finished the night with a 2-1 record and wins over the Junior Blues and the Lions.
Manhattan started the night against Rural, winning 25-21, 28-26 in a rematch from last week.
“Washburn Rural had a lot to prove to us — they don’t like losing to Manhattan twice, that’s for sure,” Manhattan coach Lisa Kinderknecht said. “They had their big middle back from a concussion, too, which helped them. But I was proud of the girls to be able to work through it.”
After taking the first set, the Indians had to battle to win the second set. Leading 24-21, three hitting errors gave Rural all the momentum back, but the Indians were able to pull it out.
“We hung in there,” Kinderknecht said, “which was a gut check, because Rural had all the momentum once they came back to tie it.”
Kelsey Schroll had 13 kills in the Rural match alone, finishing with 18 for the night. Aubrey Jung had 30 of her 61 assists on the night against the Junior Blues. Lauren Goralczyk had 17 kills on the night, with Jessie Kujawa and Kaci Cink each adding 15.
Madi Fief led the night with 21 digs, with Savannah Roberts logging 17 and Erika Hairgrove with 10.
In the second match, Manhattan lost to Hayden 25-12, 25-17.
“Hayden was pretty unstoppable,” the MHS coach said. “Their setter hardly has to move and they run a very quick game. We had difficulty getting any touches off the block, which made it tough for our pass and in turn didn’t get us many assists or kills. But we learned.
“Hayden’s playing as good of ball as I’ve seen them. They’re good, and they’ll make some noise at state, that’s for sure.”
In the finale against Lawrence, the Indians let big leads slip away, but were never in danger of losing the match, winning 25-20, 25-19.
“Against Lawrence, we had a pretty significant lead a couple times and we let them dig back in,” Kinderknecht said. “We were trying to concentrate on doing the little things and we got out of sync a couple times, but we hung in there and won. We’ll definitely have to improve to get where we need to go at sub-state.”
Manhattan hosts Junction City and Wamego for senior night on Tuesday at 5 p.m., giving the team the opportunity to add two more wins to its record before sub-state the following Saturday.
“It’s going to be a tough senior night, that’s for sure,” Kinderknecht said. “We have that and then sub-state, so we need to get these wins. It’s still a cluster for seeding.
“You can’t complain when you leave a night 2-1, but we need to learn from our mistakes and toughen up a little bit and try to get the job done a week from tonight and move in to sub-state.”