The Eagles accomplished that with wins over state-ranked Burlington this year and last year’s state tourney victory at state over top-ranked Hoisington.
“We can compete with anybody,” Wellsville coach Eric Evans.
That kind of mind set should help the Eagles at the 2012 3A state tournament in Salina. This is Wellsville’s second straight trip to state.
“We are looking forward to it,” Evans said. “It is a little bit different than last year. It is going to be a tough road to hoe.”
There will not be any easy matches Friday for the seventh-seeded Eagles (25-15). Wellsville’s pool consists of defending state champion Hillsboro (37-3), No. 3 seeded SE of Cherokee (34-5) and tradition-rich Silver Lake (29-8).
Wellsville played Hillsboro last year in pool play and lost. Evans said they will be familiar with each other.
“We are going to play volleyball,” Evans said. “We want to play the best ball we can possibly play. We visited a little bit about last year. This is a different team. They remember what it felt like.”
Every point counts because of the tiebreaker situation. Evans said advancing to the semifinals could go down to one point.
“There is only one sure thing ... win them all,” he said.
Wellsville is not the biggest team around.
“It is not the size of the body, but the size of the heart ... especially these girls,” Evans said.
Wellsville comes into state on a roll, winning 15 of its past 19 matches. Evans said the turnaround came when the players fully bought into the team concept. He said the Eagles improved serve and serve-receive during the past month.
The school is full of excitement this week with the volleyball and boys cross-country teams qualifying for state, while the football team wrapped up a playoff spot last week.
Evans said everybody is enjoying the success of the fall teams.
“The fall season has been pretty good to us,” he said.
State pool schedule
Hillsboro vs. Wellsville, 3:30 p.m.
SE of Cherokee vs. Silver Lake, 4:30 p.m.
Hillsboro vs. Silver Lake, 5:30 p.m.
SE of Cherokee vs. Wellsville, 6:30 p.m.
Silver Lake vs. Wellsville, 7:30 p.m.
Hillsboro vs. SE of Cherokee, 8:30 p.m.