IOLA — A transformation is taking place on the court for the Osawatomie Lady Trojan volleyball team.

Osawatomie lost six players from a team that was two points away from punching its ticket to state a year ago.

Senior setter Avery Dempsey, senior middle Josephine Worrell and senior defensive specialist Mallory Palmer are leading a young Lady Trojans program in a rebuilding year, but the team is playing some exciting volleyball.

Libero Neveah Rosendahl, a freshman, is one of the up-and-coming court leaders. Osawatomie also rotated freshman middle MaKynlie Rayl, freshman hitter Alyssa Haefele and freshman hitter Hillary Harrison.

The roster also features junior setter Jillian Palmer, sophomore hitter Erin Upshaw, junior hitter Claire Hall, sophomore Brooklynn McClendon and junior hitter Lydia Beets.

The Osawatomie Lady Trojans went three sets with the rival Iola Fillies on the road Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Osawatomie led early and then rallied to take the first set 29-27. The Lady Trojans fell behind 7-18 in the second set and lost it 15-25. The third set was a battle, but Osawatomie fell 18-25.

Osawatomie ended the night with a hard-fought loss to Burlington in straight sets by scores of 17-25 and 18-25.

Dempsey made a quick set over the net to tie the first set against Iola at 2-2. McClendon fired in an ace at 3-3.

Harrison had a kill at 5-3 and served back-to-back aces to push the lead to 7-3. Dempsey added kills at 8-5, 9-7 and 10-8.

Rosendahl served the point at 11-8 and dropped in an ace at 12-8.

Dempsey broke a tie with a kill at 22-21. She evened the set at 24-24 with another kill. Jillian Palmer ended the match with an ace at 29-27.

Haefele had a huge dig on a volley to open the second set.

Iola started to take control with a pair of aces to put Osawatomie in a six-point hole, 4-10.

Rayl had a kill coming out the break at 6-13. Harrison had an ace at 11-22. Rayl added kills at 12-23 and 14-24. Haefele served an ace at 15-24. Osawatomie lost the set 15-25.

Dempsey had a kill and an ace to put Osawatomie out to a 2-0 lead in the third set. Worrell had a kill on a set from Dempsey at 3-3.

Haefele fired in an ace at 7-10, and Osawatomie made it a one-point game at 9-10.

Worrell had a block at 11-13. Dempsey made it a one-point game again with a kill at 16-17. Osawatomie lost the set 18-25.

Worrell had a kill at 2-2 in the first set against Burlington. Rosendahl served an ace at 9-11. Osawatomie lost the set 17-25.

Osawatomie fell behind 3-6 in the second set. Rosendahl had a back-row kill at 6-7. Upshaw added a kill at 10-12.

The Lady Trojans made it a one-point game at 14-15 on a kill by Dempsey. Rosendahl served three straight points to make it 17-22. Dempsey had a tip at the net at 18-24 and Osawatomie lost the set 18-25.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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