Traveling to Olathe South on Saturday, the Manhattan High volleyball team opened its season against some tough competition.
The end result was a 3-2 record and a better handle on what the team needs to do to improve as the season gets underway.
Manhattan defeated Lawrence 25-20, 25-15, Shawnee Mission South 23-25, 25-13, 25-20, and Wichita Southeast 25-8, 25-10 while falling to Mill Valley 25-22, 25-19 and host Olathe South 25-21, 20-25, 25-15 to finish the day at 3-2.
“We found a lot of things we need to work on, but the team chemistry and the support of each other is phenomenal,” Kinderknecht said. “We really worked on communication and they got better throughout the day. When we struggled, we weren’t communicating and we saw the value in that. And that’s something that’s easily remedied.”
Manhattan opened the day against Mill Valley and took an early lead in the first set, but some unforced errors gave the first set to the Jaguars. In the second set, the Indians were down 10 at one point but battled back before the rally fell short.
“We could have easily laid down and died,” Kinderknecht said. “But the girls really played hard and came back.”
Against Olathe South, Manhattan managed to take the second set and force a third, but ran out of steam at the end.
“We’re not a team that reels off several points in a row,” Kinderknecht said. “That was nice to see us building on the good and stuff we focused on.”
The Indians won in two sets against Southeast and Lawrence, but managed to get a three-set victory against Shawnee Mission South, thanks in part to a good day on the block by Kelsey Schroll.
“Everybody had some shining moments throughout the day,” Kinderknecht said. “Our middles don’t get the swings our outsides do, but they did get some touches on blocks, and for Kelsey Schroll to have six solos, that’s pretty big in one match.”
Aubrey Jung led with 98 assists, while also logging 22 digs. Libero Matty Mahan had 39 digs to lead the team, with Kenzie Miller tabbing 31 and Madi Fief with 21. Schroll led in blocks with 11 on the day, with Jessie Kujawa leading the way with 40 kills. Kaci Cink had 25 kills and Lauren Goralczyk had 21 kills for Manhattan.
“Matty Mahan did a nice job at libero,” Kinderknecht said. “But Kenzie Miller had a ton of digs against a hard-hitting team when we played against Olathe South.”