Taking state is no easy task, but the WHS volleyball team came home from Dodge City with a gold trophy in their hands and smiles on their faces. The 2019 team is the first volleyball team in Wabaunsee history to win state. Some of the players shared their thoughts on the state tournament matches.
Friday: Pool Play
Belle Plaine- 25-20, 25-18
“It was our first game of the tournament and we all went out there with the mindset that we could win state.”
— sophomore Kara Hafenstine
Jeff. County North- 26-24, 25-23
“We went in overconfident because they didn’t have a great record, but we had to find a way to focus in. It prepared us for the next match.”
— senior Alexis Hafenstine
Spearville- 29-27, 25-23
“We really wanted to come out on top of our pool to play the runner up on Saturday. They were the number 2 seed, and we were 3, so we felt like we had something to prove.”
— senior Macy Falk
Saturday:Semi and Final Matches
Semifinal vs. Valley Heights- 25-14, 25-22
“We stayed consistent almost the entire first set, which was important because they had strong on-the-net hitters. We got a lot of blocks up and made them paranoid, which brought them down while we kept working.”
— sophomore Lauren Schutter
Championship vs. Spearville- 28-26, 25-19
I knew it was going to be good on my way up. I knew we were state champs when I hit it.” — Maddy Wertzberger
“We started up and played really well the first set. We struggled to keep our attitudes up, but we hit our stride late in the set. It was nerve racking to face a set point, but we really wanted to go through without losing a set.”
— junior Maddy Wertzberger
“Spearville really came out with a lot of enthusiasm.”
— junior Jordan Magette
Second set, Wabaunsee called a timeout trailing 16-8
“In the second set we came out hyped because of our close win, but we all got tense and no one was playing to have fun. I think we were playing scared for a bit. Coach told us to focus and play our game. No one can beat us when we take control.”
— junior Maddy Wertzberger
Wabaunsee rallied to a 23-19 lead.
“We started getting up. It was 23-19 and we got really hyped after our 24th point. Kara served, the libero returned, Kara set a one, and I hit it right between the blockers. I knew it was going to be good on my way up. I knew we were state champs when I hit it.”
— Maddy Wertzberger
“It was an awesome feeling. We really wanted to do it for the seniors. Next year’s underclassmen will really have to step up to get us back to state.
— Jordan Magette
“Over the last 2 years, we worked on so much more than just volleyball. Don’t get me wrong, the skills, especially the basics are very important too. But just getting our mental game together was as important. Appreciating that it really does take a team to play a team sport, don’t tear your teammates down to make yourself look better, don’t feel sorry for yourself, we all make mistakes but work to eliminate those mistakes by working on the mental game and skills. If we were more positive people, good people, then we were going to be a better team as a whole. At times it gets hard, but they knew they needed each other to accomplish their dream… and they did accomplish one of their dreams.”
— Head coach Tracy Capoun
The 2019 volleyball team joins an elite group of state champion teams: 1977 Boys Basketball, 1986 Boys Basketball, 2007 Softball and 2018 Softball.
Lauren Schutter and Megan Strait made the Kansas Volleyball Association 2A All-Tournament Team. “It’s a cool honor,” Schutter said. “I wasn’t really expecting it because there were no other underclassmen on it. I think we could have had a few more people on it. Alexis works harder than any of the other liberos we saw at state.”
Season Win Record
The volleyball team ended its season with a record of 41-3, a school record for wins in a season.As for the graduating class, freshman year their record was 31-11, sophomore year 15-18, junior year 32-12. This year their record was 41-3 which made their overall record 119-44.
Outlook for next year
Jordan Magette, Madisyn Wertzberger, Kara Hafenstine and Lauren Schutter are the most prominent varsity players returning next year. The JV won or placed at several tournaments, and those players will get varsity opportunities next season.
Seniors Laurel Barber, Alexis Hafenstine, Megan Strait and Macy Falk reflected on the importance of the state championship. Read their stories here.