The Ottawa High School volleyball program’s Senior Night is one of those special events of the season.
“We always want to show how much we appreciate the work they put in,” Ottawa coach Laura Jeannin said. “The kids that play through their senior year is what builds our program. We have a great group of seniors. They have great character and they work hard every day in practice. We really want to support them.”
Three seniors and a foreign exchange student-athlete were honored before the final home match Tuesday night in the OHS gym. Senior Rebekah Wilcox, Isabelle McCarty, Kristen Shaffer and Cristina Lanfranchi were introduced along with the parents and guardians before the Paola dual. The underclassmen presented them with gifts.
Then the Cyclones took to the court and swept through the Panthers, winning 25-22, 25-22, 25-14.
“It is great to have a solid performance,” Jeannin said. “We did focus [well] tonight. We knew tonight 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.”
The Cyclones won the big points to finish off the first two sets and controlled the final set.
“We picked up towards the end and we ended the night where we wanted to be going into Saturday,” Jeannin said. “We have competed with every team we played [this season]. We are excited.”
Jeannin said the success of the program takes each player to be themselves.
“Every player contributes in their own way and everyone is valued within our system,” she said. “It is not only things on the court, but it might be things off the court. Our team is a great group of girls.”
Ottawa (13-20) plays the second sub-state match Saturday at Hayden in Topeka against Labette County (19-13). The Hayden-Fort Scott match begins at 2 p.m. The sub-state championship match will follow the Ottawa-Labette County match.