By JIM MISUNAS
HAVEN — State-ranked Hesston and Haven proved too much for Larned’s volleyball team to handle.
CKL co-leader Hesston beat Larned 25-16, 25-13; and Haven downed the Indians 25-18, 28-26 in a hard-fought match Tuesday. Hesston (14-2) also defeated Haven, 25-21, 25-22.
Larned’s Kelsey Parr led the setting and Lydia Duft and Ally Aldrich also contributed positive plays. Also competing are Erin Smith, Aarika Bright, Kaitlyn Finger, Dava Makings and Courtney Detherage,
“I see improvement, which is good, but you always can play better,” said Larned coach Kayla Josefiak. “You can’t ever be satisfied or you won’t get better. It’s definitely tough league matches. Hesston is a really good volleyball team. There is no night for an easy match in our league. It’s high caliber volleyball.”
Hesston’s Kailey Jo Ince compiled 18 kills. Alaina Dunlavy had 36 assists. Kylie Brenneman had 13 digs and Cami Richardson served eight aces.
Josefiak said the Indians played their best volleyball in the second set against Haven after a slow start.
“We rallied back in the second set, but we’ve got to finish those sets and win,” she said. “Our defense and back row play was better. We dug the ball better. We just need to continue to go into transition and convert those into points.”
Larned drops to 6-14 overall and 1-4 in the Central Kansas League. The Indians finished 1-4 at the Russell Tournament last weekend, beating Topeka West 25-15, 25-15.
Larned returns home Thursday for matches against Hill City, Ellinwood and Kinsley starting at 4 p.m.
“It will be good to play other non-league teams we have not played,” Josefiak said. “It may not be as intense since it’s non-league. But our goal is always to play our best volleyball and win the matches.”