By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — The Larned Indian volleyball team (2-5) is slowly making progress. But there were no wins to illustrate Larned’s improvement.
Larned was beaten by state-ranked No. 9 Class 4A Hays High 25-13, 25-15 in a battle of Indians; and state-ranked No. 4 Class 1A LaCrosse beat Larned 23-25, 25-18, 25-16 Tuesday.
Larned coach Kayla Josefiak saw a little progress.
“Both teams we played hit the ball really well,” she said. “Hays has some amazing hitters. LaCrosse has the height to match up with them and competed really well. Playing two state-ranked teams is a challenging home opener.”
Against Hays, Larned slowly worked into its game after Hays gained the momentum.
“We need to work on getting ready to play right away,” Josefiak said. “They started to pull away and we didn’t have any answers. It starts with your back row reading the ball to keep the ball playable. You’ve got to learn to hit it right back at them. When we played our game, we played better volleyball.”
Hays High’s Tessa Stickel had six kills and Audra Schmeidler had four kills and four aces. Albany Schaffer had 12 digs. Kylie Brown added three blocks and Taylor Groen-Younger had 11 assists.
Larned won the first set against LaCrosse, but slowly lost the momentum and the match.
“Overall, the girls hustled really well and gave 150 percent like we want,” she said. “I was pleased with how well we played. We did some things right and executed some plays that we were working on. Our eight girls we played played well.”
The Larned C team plays home matches Thursday. Larned’s varsity plays Hoisington at Kingman Sept. 8.
Hays also defeated La Crosse 27-25, 25-19. Tessa Stickel had 10 kills. Kylie Brown followed with eight. Taylor Groen-Younger recorded 17 assists and Albany Schaffer had 14 digs.
Central Kansas League
Smoky Valley 3-2
Hesston def. Conway Springs, 25-17, 25-19; Hesston def. Moundridge, 23-25, 25-12, 25-23
Halstead def. St. John, 25-22, 20-25, 25-18; Halstead def. Burrton, 25-20, 25-22
Haven def. Ell-Saline, 12-25, 25-17, 25-20; Goessel def. Haven, 25-18, 25-16
Hays def. Larned, 25-13, 25-15; LaCrosse def. Larned, 23-25, 25-18, 25-16
Hutchinson Trinity, Minneapolis at Hesston
Smoky Valley, TMP, Concordia at Abilene
Sterling, Ellsworth at Ellinwood
Nickerson, Wichita Independent at Cheney
Kingman, Chaparral at South Barber