West volleyball statebound!
by Clarke Davis
The Jefferson West Tigers emerged victorious from the sub-state volleyball tournament and are headed for the state tournament at Salina.
It’s the first time for the girls to go to state since 1999.
The large number of 4A schools have been broken into two divisions and Jefferson West will be in Division II with schools more closely its size.
The Tigers will face Wichita-Trinity Academy Friday at 3:30 p.m. on Court B at the Bicentennial Center and go on to compete against Carbondale-Santa Fe Trail and Clay Center.
Other teams in Division II are top-seeded Burlington, Goodland, Frontenac, and Larned. Jefferson West is seeded seventh.
The top two teams from West’s pool will go on to compete Saturday in the semifinals and finals.
“I think our girls are as good as any of them in the tournament,” coach Sara Becker said. “We have the ability to do whatever we want to do.”
The coach said the team has lost three matches to Santa Fe earlier in the season, but that doesn’t mean she is afraid of them.
“We are a different team now. . . more united. The girls support each other and we are a team,” she said.
She said the players have adopted a quote by Abraham Lincoln for their shirts they will wear to state, “A house divided cannot stand.”
Becker’s team consists of three seniors, two freshmen, a couple of sophomores and the rest juniors.
“They have proven they are talented,” the coach said. “We just have to play aggressively—play to win and not lose. If we’re too reserved they will get the best of us.”
Becker said it is to the team’s advantage that they have split the 4A schools into two divisions. She said their efforts to get to state in the past have often been stopped by much larger schools.
They walked away Saturday with the sub-state trophy. The Tigers beat Royal Valley, 25-22, 27-25, Bishop Ward, 25-22, 25-29, and Perry-Lecompton in the championship match, 26-24, 25-15.
Becker teaches Spanish and began her teaching career at Jefferson West in 2005. She was the assistant coach that year and became the head coach in 2006.
The last time the team went to state their coach was Rhonda (White) Frakes. She is now the high school principal.
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