HUTCHINSON — It was an amazing day for the McPherson College volleyball team on Thursday during the opening session of the KCAC Postseason Tournament at the Sports Arena.
The Bulldogs broke their one-year-old school record for victories in a season on their way to qualifying for the tourney’s Final Four that starts on Saturday.
By sweeping both Bethany (25-18, 25-20, 25-13) and Oklahoma Wesleyan (25-18 25-22, 25-17), the Bulldogs improved to 22-10, eclipsing last year’s school record for victories when they had 21.
“Confidence and belief was our theme going into postseason," Mac second-year coach Jessica Cleveland said. "I saw a new level of this team where we were very selfless. It was fun to see them encourage and push each other, taking a lot of that responsibility off me as a coach. They are truly playing for each other. Hopefully, our two sweeps today gives us momentum to fight Ottawa for first in our pool tomorrow morning. I'm proud of how far our team has gotten and we are not finished yet.”
Mac and No. 1 seed Ottawa play this morning at 11:00 in the final pool match. The Braves also went 2-0 on the day in pool play, assuring that both teams will be playing in the semifinals on Saturday. Mac and Ottawa have played twice this year with the Braves winning a pair of five-set thrillers.
Against Bethany, All-KCAC first-team selection Lexi Kite had her usual double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs. During the match, she went over the 1,000-kill mark for her career. With 384 kills, Kite now ranks second on McPherson's single-season kills list behind the 399 posted by Erica Alvarez in 2003. She also ranks third on McPherson's career kills list behind Alvarez (1,196; 2000-03) and Jessica Miller (1,143; 2004-07).
Jamie Siess had 22 digs, while Kaitlyn Heinis and Morgan Little led in assists with 19 and 16, respectively.
Against Oklahoma Wesleyan, Kite had 13 kills, Little led in assists with 20 and Siess was tops in digs with 14.
Bethany finished 0-2 on the day as it lost a 3-1 verdict to Ottawa. The Swedes play Oklahoma Wesleyan today in a match that has no implications as both teams will not advance to the Final Four.
Kansas Wesleyan and Tabor also went 2-0 on the day to punch their tickets to the Final Four.
Saturday’s match times are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., depending on how today’s results go. The finals are at 6 p.m