Bullpup spikers seek state berth

By Steve Sell
October 20, 2017
Kendall Shaw

At least two ranked teams won’t be at next week’s Class 4A Division I State Volleyball Tournament, thanks to the Ulysses sub-state.

McPherson High, ranked No. 2 in the state, will be joined by fellow state-ranked teams Hays and Ulysses, as well as Buhler for Saturday’s sub-state, which will be a 229-mile jaunt for the Bullpups.

MHS (34-5) takes on Buhler for a third time at 2 p.m., with No. 7-ranked Hays (25-8) and 9th-ranked Ulysses (27-8) squaring off in the second match. The two winners play for the title, somewhere around 4 or 4:15.

MHS is playing Buhler back-to-back as it closed the season with a straight-sets win over the Crusaders on Senior Night. Buhler has an unassuming 17-18 record, but has shown it can hang with the Bullpups and, of course, is MHS’ chief rival.

“They have taken us to three (sets)  before and we are pretty familiar with each other,” MHS coach Christy Doile said. “They have some key hitters that we need to shut down.”

It’s a toss-up to which team will come out of the other semi, though Hays probably plays a tougher schedule and is the probable favorite.

The Bullpups are seeking an eighth straight trip to state and won their only title in 2012, though they have been close on numerous other occasions.