HUTCHINSON — McPherson College’s volleyball team certainly liked its chances of making it to the finals of the KCAC Tournament on Saturday.
The Bulldogs had avoided Ottawa and Kansas Wesleyan in the semifinal round — teams they were a combined 0-5 against — and the way things played out they drew Tabor, a team they had swept this year.
But the Bluejays caught some magic this weekend at the Sports Arena. Not only did they blank McPherson College 3-0, but they stunned Ottawa 3-0 in the title match to advance to nationals.
Tabor defeated the Bulldogs 26-24, 25-22, 25-23 as little separated the teams in any of the sets.
The loss ended a record-setting year for the Bulldogs. They were 22-12, the victory total breaking the one-year-old record of 21. The 43 wins over two years, of course, is a school record for most wins in back-to-back years.
Lexi Kite, a first-team KCAC selection, led Mac with 11 kills, while the team’s only senior, Morgan Little, had a team-high 17 assists. Jamie Siess led in digs with 22. Kite broke a longtime record for kills in a season with 410 and she also went over 100 blocks for her career in what was a season of milestones for her.
The Bulldog program has come light-years in Jessica Cleveland’s two seasons. When she inherited the program, the Bulldogs had won just seven matches the previous year and were the worst team in the KCAC.
They now have back-to-back Final Four appearances and took fourth in the conference standings this season. Their 15 conference wins during the regular season also were a school record.