KINSLEY — Top-seed Ellinwood swept the Central Prairie League regular-season and postseason championship in a match that went down to the final points. Ellinwood has won back-to-back postseason CPL titles.
Ellinwood outlasted Victoria 26-24, 22-25, 25-23 in three competitive sets. The teams split matches during the season.
Ellinwood finishing the first set 26-24. Victoria squeezed out a 25-22 second set victory.
A thrilling third set saw both teams take leads and ultimately have opportunities to take control and earn the league title.
Victoria took an early lead only to see the Eagles fight back and race to an 8-point lead keyed by some huge digs and passes by Kaitlyn Pohlman, Jozlyn Brown, Anahi Mendez and Hailey Gross which led to some assertive kills from Mya Maxwell and Maddy Ward to be within two points of earning the championship.
However, the Knights kept fighting and evened the score 23-23.
With the title on the line, Jozlyn Brown dug a Knight attack attempt and Maxwell was able to set Ward for her career high 30th kill to earn the 24th point. Ward finished the match with a huge service ace and a CPL title.
The match featured season and career high totals from Ward with 30 kills, Maxwell 26 assists, Ward 21 digs, Jozlyn Brown 15 digs and Kaitlyn Pohlman, a season high 17 kills.
Maxwell contributed 12 momentum shifting kills, 12 digs and two aces. Mendez contributed 12 digs and three key aces while Hailey Gross had two aces.
Brooke McReynolds added three solo blocks and Ward contributed one. The Eagles served 74 times with zero errors.
Ellinwood edged Ness City, 25-22, 25-23. Stats included Ward’s nine kills followed by Mendez’s eight. Maxwell had 12 assists, Ward nine and Kaitlyn Pohlman had eight digs and Ward seven. Allison McReynolds added two solo blocks.
The red-hot St. John Tigers won the first set 25-21, but Ellinwood responded for a 25-29, 25-10 win. Ward led with 23 kills followed by Maxwell’s season high 14. Maxwell had 22 assists. Ward posted a career high 15 assists. Pohlman contributed 15 digs. Allison McReynolds posted a career high three solo blocks and Brooke McReynolds one.
Ellinwood edged past Otis-Bison 25-21, 26-24 in the semifinals. Ward had 10 kills and eight assists. Maxwell had 10 kills and 11 assists. Mendez contributed eight digs. Ward and Pohlman each had two service aces.
Ellinwood (24-11) plays Hillsboro (12-21) at the 2A Inman substate.
2A INMAN SUBSTATE—Ellinwood 24-11 vs. Hillsboro 12-21, 2 p.m.; Inman 21-14 vs. Marion 17-18; Goessel 24-12 vs. Sterling 12-20, 2 p.m.; Ellsworth 22-13 vs. Canton-Galva 13-19