The Ottawa High School volleyball team is primed for a postseason run, which starts Saturday in Topeka.
The Cyclones (13-20) play their first-round 4A sub-state match against Labette County at Hayden High School. The Hayden-Fort Scott match begins at 2 p.m. with Ottawa immediately following. The championship match will follow the semifinal matches.
“Saturday is a big day,” Ottawa coach Laura Jeannin said. “We have seen (Labette County) this year. We will work (this week) to prepare for them. Our goal is to exceed our potential.”
Ottawa’s schedule has prepared the squad for the upcoming matches.
“We are (playing) at the level we want to play at,” Jeannin said. “We can exceed that. We have not won those big games. We are saving it for Saturday. Saturday is where we are focused now.”
Jeannin said no matter the opponent, Ottawa is concentrating on its level of play.
“That has been our thing this year,” she said. “We want to be who we are. We want to consistently be us. It does not matter who we play at this point because we know our identity and we know what we want to be. We worked hard to get to that point this year. We want to be us and pick each other up. Do whatever it takes to compete. You never know what can happen.”
Jeannin said the players have been open to coaching and have the mindset of improving in every facet of the game.
“That starts with the youngest girl in our program all the way to the top,” Jeannin said. “The more they can push each other in practice, the more prepared we are against teams. That starts in the off-season. That starts with a mentality. We are thankful for the program we have, the kids we have, the support we have and our goal is to make each other better every day in practice.”
Ottawa is coming off a sweep over Paola Tuesday on Senior Night. Jeannin liked how the players were mentally ready for the match.
“It is great to have a solid performance,” Jeannin said. “We did focus tonight. We knew there were a lot of big things happening. We’ve been the team we wanted to be the last couple of weeks. We struggled to finish the matches. We wanted to finish tonight, finish in three. Make that statement that we can do this and compete with teams. We picked up towards the end and we ended the night where we wanted to be going into Saturday.”
Wellsville and West Franklin are on a collision course to meet in the sub-state semifinals Saturday in the 3A Perry-Lecompton sub-state.
The county rivals first must win their first-round matches. West Franklin (26-9) plays Ward at 2 p.m. Wellsville (26-10) squares off against Santa Fe Trail in a rematch. SFT topped Wellsville in two close sets on Tuesday.
The other half of the bracket has top-seeded Royal Valley playing Jeff West and Pleasant Ridge playing Perry-Lecompton.
Central Heights plays top-seeded Wabaunsee in a 2A sub-state matchup at Wabaunsee.