SPRING HILL – The state and nationally ranked Spring Hill Lady Broncos volleyball team defended their court against the rival Louisburg Lady Cats, taking a step towards winning a second straight Frontier League title in the process.

The Lady Broncos swept the best three-out-of-five series from the Lady Cats in straight sets by scores of 25-18, 25-7 and 25-17 on Tuesday, Sept 15.

Spring Hill and Louisburg both represented the Frontier League in the state tournament last season. The Spring Hill Lady Broncos defeated Kansas City Washington and Bonner Springs at home in the Class 5A substate, advancing to the state tournament in Salina. The Lady Cats upset state volleyball powerhouse Bishiop Miege in the Class 4A substate to punch their ticket to state.

Spring Hill was 1-2 at state, compiling a record of 38-4 on the season. Spring Hill’s only losses at state were St. Thomas Aquinas and St. James, ranked first and second in the state for Class 5A this season.

Jayln Stevenson, a 5-11 outside hitter, was named to the Class 5A all-state tournament team. She is back for her senior campaign. The Spring Hill Lady Broncos volleyball team accomplished some things the program had not done since 1985 and 1983, advancing to state for the first time since 1985 and capturing its first league title since 1983. Spring Hill was 9-0 in league play.

The Lady Broncos are on a quest to repeat both feats and make a run at a state title, losing just one starter from the substate championship team. Back for the quest to take state are Cate Milroy, Mariah Hess, Emery Stevenson, Addie Hedrick, Allisyn Frank, Kathryn Frakes, Daphne Gardner, Jayln Stevenson, Rylee Serpan and Julia Hess. Spring Hill is coached by Erica Book, Jamie Oshel, Jill Starling and Emily Redeker.

Louisburg was 2-1 in pool play at state, they lost in the semifinals and ended up placing fourth in the state for Class 4A at Hutchinson. The Lady Cats were 23-18 overall. Setter Rinny McMullen was named to the Class 4A all-state tournament team.

The Lady Cats are out to make it their ninth state trip in 11 years, returning letter-winners Madison Quinn, Chase Kallevig, Carleigh Pritchard, Alyse Moore and Davis Guetterman.

Spring Hill came into the match ranked third in the state for Class 5A and 18th in the nation. Louisburg is ranked fourth in the state for Class 4A.

Alli Frank opened the match with a kill down the line for a 1-0 Spring Hill lead in the first set. Rinny McMullen had a tip at the net for Louisburg to tie the set 1-1.

Jalyn Stevenson had a kill as the Lady Broncos pulled out to a 5-1 lead in the set. Carleigh Pritchard had a kill for the Lady Cats at 5-2. Spring Hill won a long volley with a kill from Kate Frakes at 7-4. Alyse Moore kept Louisburg in the hunt with a kill off blockers at 9-5.

Pritchard had a kill at 10-6. Frank answered with a kill for Spring Hill. Emma Prettyman had a kill for the Lady Cats to make it a four-point match at 11-7.

Stevenson began to take over the set for the Lady Broncos with kills at 13-7 and 15-8.

Adyson Ross had a kill for the Lady Cats, and Madison Quinn fired in an ace at 16-10.

Frakes turned the momentum back for Spring Hill with a kill at 17-10. Daphne Gardner served an ace at 18-10.

Rylee Serpan, a left-handed hitter, had a kill down the line for the Lady Broncos at 19-11. She had another kill at 21-12. Addie Hedrick and Frank teamed up for a block at 24-17. Stevenson finished the set with a kill at 25-18.

Spring Hill took a 4-1 lead to open the second set. Stevenson had a kill at 6-2, and served three straight aces to push the score to 13-3.

Frakes had a kill for Spring Hill at 14-3. Serpan lowered the boom on a kill at 16-4. Prettyman had a kill for Louisburg at 18-6. Lady Cat Allie Kennedy had a kill at 22-7. Frank served an ace at 24-7 and the Lady Broncos went on to take the second set 25-7.

Frank broke a 1-1 tie in the third with a kill for Spring Hill. Pritchard had kills for Louisburg at 2-2 and 3-3.

Stevenson had a kill at 4-3 for the Lady Broncos. Gardner served an ace at 5-3. Pritchard answered with a kill for the Lady Cats at 5-4, and tied the set with an ace.

Louisburg kept battling, even down two sets to none, testing Spring Hill in the third set. Prettyman had a kill. McMullen set Moore for a kill to give the Lady Cats a two-point lead.

Mariah Hess made a great dig on a volley for Spring Hill, and Frakes finished it off with a kill for the point. Frank had two kills and a block to tie the set at 10-10. She put down two more kills back-to-back to make it 12-10.

Frank added kills at 13-11 and 15-13. Moore had a kill for Louisburg to make it a one-point game. Spring Hill won the next five points to extend its lead to 20-14.

Hedrick had kills at 22-14 and 23-14 for the Lady Broncos. Frakes had a kill at 24-15 and Spring Hill went on to win the set 25-17, taking the match in three straight sets.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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