Oskaloosa defeats Oberlin for Class 2A state volleyball title

Oskaloosa volleyball team headed to Emporia for stateOskaloosa defeated Oberlin to win the Class 2A state volleyball championship Saturday night. Above, members of the Oskaloosa girls’ volleyball team celebrated Oct. 23 at Immaculata High School after upsetting top seed Burlingame in the finals of the Class 2A substate tournament in Leavenworth.   Photos by Monty Davis

After being defeated in the first set, Oskaloosa came back to win the state volleyball title by taking the second and third sets, 26-24 and 25-21, over Oberlin Saturday night.

The championship matches were held in White Auditorium on the campus of Emporia State University.

Oskaloosa lost the first set, 24-26.

Watch this week’s newspaper for more details.

In order to earn a trip to the state championship, Oskaloosa won their sub-state last weekend in Leavenworth.

by Dennis Sharkey

The Oskaloosa Lady Bears volleyball team is headed to the state tournament in Emporia after rolling through their sub-state in Leavenworth on Saturday.

All three matches for the Lady Bears ended in two games.

Jessie Beach, left, and Lakin Thompson, right.

Jessie Beach, left, and Lakin Thompson.

“There wasn’t a game we played that I was nervous or worried,” Head Coach Tosha Landau said on Monday. “They stayed focus and they played at the top of their game.”

Landau said her team’s toughest match was their first against seventh seed Lyndon, who only had a record of 12-17. The match was tough because the Lady Bears were unfamiliar with Lyndon and didn’t have much of a scouting report. To prepare, Landau said he team worked on their game.

“We worked on our strengths all week in practice,” Landau said. “We made sure that we did the things we needed to do and whatever happens, happens.”

The Lady Bears disposed of Lyndon 25-17, 25-12 in the first match before moving on to face sixth seed Mission Valley. The Lady Bears won that match 25-13, 25-10.

The Lady Bears, who were seeded second, faced top seed Burlingame in the finals. Landau said her team was looking forward to facing Burlingame in the finals.

Brooke Beach

Brooke Beach

“My girls felt like they should have been seeded first,” Landau said. “Throughout the day my girls were watching them play and we thought we might have a really good chance to beat them.”

Lady Bears’ junior Lakin Thompson was also hoping for a match up against Burlingame because she transferred to Oskaloosa last year from Bulingame.

Landau said her team dispelled any discouragement they may have had after the regular season ended with their performance on Saturday. Coming into the season the Lady Bears had a lot of hype surrounding the team, mainly due to a top three pre-season ranking by the Kansas Volleyball Association.

Although the team lost 10 games during the season, most of the losses came in tournaments where they had to play 4A and 5A class teams.

“For a while they were a little discouraged,” Landau said. “At the beginning it seemed like we were losing a lot of games. Now we get to play teams our own size.”

Landau likes her team’s chances in this weekends state tournament because of last year’s experience.

“Last year it was just a big deal to make it,” Landau said. “They now have experience and have been there before.”

Oskaloosa's Haley Pfau

Oskaloosa's Haley Pfau

Like the sub-state tournament, the Lady Bears are unfamiliar with most of the teams in the state tournament that has a different format than the sub-state tournament. The Lady Bears will be placed in a pool of four team, that includes the top seed. The top two teams then move onto the semi-finals.

Landau said her team, seeded fifth, will have a slight advantage because top seed Greensburg-Kiowa County plays before her team.

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