The main focus on Senior Night: winning against a rival league opponent.
The Ottawa High School volleyball team accomplished just that Tuesday, sweeping Paola in straight sets 25-22, 25-11, 25-21 on a night dedicated to six seniors — Jocelyn Woods, Jenna DeVore, Kamryn Shaffer, Justine French, Shakiya Aho and Sutton Jung. It marked Ottawa’s third best-of-five-sets league win this season.
“It was big,” Laura Jeannin, OHS head volleyball coach, said. “One thing we always worry about on Senior Night is the focus of the seniors and the focus of the whole team because Senior Night does kind of take priority.
“I didn’t have to worry about that with this group because they have been emotionally strong these past few weeks. These girls are experienced. I have two or three of them that have played for me for three or four years, and I knew how important the game was for them. Yes, it was Senior Night, but winning was a huge part of what they wanted.”
Now, the focus shifts to the final few weeks of the regular season before a sub-state showdown Oct. 21 at Paola with Louisburg and Spring Hill.
“Our next couple of weeks is tough,” Jeannin said. “We play De Soto, we play Louisburg and we play Blue Valley Southwest. We know it is going to be tough, but we also know to get better, we have to play tough teams. We know if we want to go to state, we might have to go through Louisburg. We take it as a challenge…more of part of our process of getting there. We want the result at the end of the season, and we know that every other part of it is just part of the process to get us there.”
Ottawa (15-16) plays 4:30 p.m. today at the Bishop Ward triangluar with Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas.