• ROSE HILL WILL BE TOUGH TO BEAT – I, like McPherson High volleyball coach Christy Doile, was encouraged about the Bullpups’ chances here Tuesday against defending Class 4A Division I state champion Rose Hill after the way they played against Augusta in the opening match of the night.
The Bullpups were firing on all cylinders against the Orioles, including a stunning 12 kills in the first set alone by Elle Barrett.
But when it came time to play Rose Hill, the Rockets took the court and the confidence just exuded. They played like a team bent on repeating as state champion.
It was about the quickest match I can remember the Bullpups playing that had a negative outcome. MHS has had some dominating performances at home in past years, but to have that done to them was a bit of a shock. The Rockets were like a fast-break basketball team that got MHS sped up and the deficit mounted at a dizzying pace.
The Bullpups are now 11-3 and currently hold the No. 5 state ranking in 4A D-I. But Rose Hill showed where the bar is set and unfortunately for MHS it is at a rarefied height. The Rockets, behind KU commit Gracie Van Driel and several other potential college recruits, are a well-oiled machine that at times makes it look ridiculously easy.
The Bullpups will learn from this match and I feel they can be much more competitive with Rose Hill than what they showed Tuesday, but they can’t hang their heads with the high-powered Newton round-robin coming up this weekend. MHS has to flush away the thoughts of Tuesday and refocus all its thoughts on a tough field in Railertown.
• HALFWAY POINT FOR MHS KICKERS – McPherson High’s boys soccer team reached the halfway point of its schedule on Tuesday with a no-sweat 10-0 road rout of Augusta.
The Bullpups arrive at midseason with a 5-3 record, all the losses by one goal on the road, one of those in overtime.
MHS is right on track as the defense has been a constant while the offense, as evidenced by the last two games, is starting to click. Darrius Armstrong, Devin Cape and Britton Haigh have all stepped up, with Armstrong coming off a four-goal performance.
The Bullpups finally get a much-needed break as they don’t play again until Sept. 28. That gives them time to get everybody healed up and rest some weary legs.
The Bullpups would appear to have a favorable schedule the second half of the season, with five of the eight games at home after playing seven of eight on the road. MHS probably needs to go no less than 6-2 to have two postseason games at home.
• ATTEND THE CROSS COUNTRY MEET THURSDAY — No sport at MHS toils in anonymity more than the cross country team.
These boys and girls put in tireless work in getting themselves ready for a meet, running exhaustive distances in sometimes unbearable conditions, be it the heat or wind.
The Bullpups will be home on Thursday at Rolling Acres and it would be nice to see a nice support group on hand to energize them. We have no trouble getting big crowds for football and even soccer and volleyball, but cross country is home only once during the regular season.
If you’ve never been to a cross country meet, it’s a fascinating experience. Check it out on Thursday.