Ottawa found the going pretty tough against those ranked foes, but did rebound to win its final two matches of the tournament to finish 2-3.
“The competition this weekend was very good,” Ottawa coach Kendra Oberzan said. In our first three matches, we faced teams that are ranked in the top five in their divisions.”
Ottawa started off with Blue Valley West, a strong net squad. Oberzan said it was a wake-up for the Cyclone blockers.
“Throughout the match our blocking improved, but we still need a lot of work to be able to compete with teams like that,” Oberzan said.
The Cyclones faced to top-ranked team in 4A in McPherson, the team Ottawa fell to in last year’s semifinals at the state tournament. Oberzan said it was a challenge playing the Bullpups.
“We started slow in the first and couldn’t get anything going, but really turned things around in the second set,” she said. “Our team came together and started playing with intensity and emotion. We were making great plays and giving the extra effort that is needed to earn points against good competition. The girls fought hard, and showed what they are capable of in that set.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t reproduce that effort against Rose Hill. We had moments during that match where it looked like we might make a run, but were never able to turn the corner. Overall I think we took some good things away from the tournament, even though the outcome may not have been the best. We finished the day with a couple of wins, and even our losses showed us some areas we can focus on, and gave us an idea of how we measure up to the top teams in our class at this point in the season.”
Blue Valley West def. Ottawa 25-13, 25-15
McPherson def. Ottawa 25-14, 27-25
Rose Hill def. Ottawa 25-16, 25-20
Ottawa def. Olathe North 25-15, 22-25, 25-22
Ottawa def. Shawnee Mission West 25-13, 26-24