PAOLA — The Lady Panthers got an early taste of substate, facing Ottawa on their home court in the regular season finale.
The action could not have been closer as Paola and Ottawa split the first four sets at Paola High School on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Paola held a 24-21 lead in the first set but could not withstand a late Ottawa rally in a 24-26 loss. The Lady Panthers rebounded to win the second set 25-22. Paola went up two sets to one with a 25-23 win in the third set. The Lady Panthers fell to Ottawa by a score of 17-26 in the fourth set, sending the match to a shorter, 15-point fifth set.
Paola fought back from an 11-14 deficit to tie the set before falling by two points, 14-16.
Seniors playing in their final match at home were Morgan Clark, Abby Richmond and Rylan Armbruster.
The Paola Lady Panthers squared off with Ottawa again Saturday, Oct. 24, in the opening round of the Class 4A substate tournament in Iola.
Paola (18-13) fell to Ottawa (22-13) in straight sets in the opening round of the substate tournament by scores of 13-25 and 17-25.
Maggie Kauk tied the first set against Ottawa (21-13) on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 5-5 with a kill. Richmond had a kill at 7-6.
Clark tied the score at 8-8 with a kill and had a stuff at the net to lock things up at 9-9. She had another kill to even the score at 10-10.
Richmond broke a tie with a kill at 13-12. Mikayla White and Clark teamed up for a block at 17-19. Emersyn served an ace at 18-19. Mackenzie Kuehl had a kill at 19-20. White tied the set at 20-20 with an ace.
Kuehl had a kill at 21-20. Emma Bishop had kills at 22-20 and 23-21. Paola could not seal the deal and lost the opening set 24-26.
Kuehl had a kill as Paola took a 3-1 lead in the second set. Clark had a tip over the net at 8-8, a kill at 9-10 and a block at 14-11. Kuehl had kills at 15-12 and 17-12.
Richmond had a kill to tie the set at 19-19. Maddie Pitzer served an ace at 20-19 and set Kauk on a kill at 21-20. Clark had a block at 24-22. Paola won the set on a kill by Kuehl at 25-22.
Clark had a huge dig near the front row to keep a volley alive in the third set, and White took the point for the Lady Panthers with a kill at 3-3.
Clark had a kill at 5-3. White added a kill at 6-6. Kuehl tied the set with a kill at 7-7 and put Paola on top with a kill at 9-8.
Richmond had a kill at 11-11. Clark tied the set with a kill at 13-13. Kuehl broke the tie with a tip across the front row from left to right for the point at 14-13. Clark had a kill at 15-14. Bishop had a kill at 16-16.
Kauk had kills at 19-19 and 20-19. Richmond served an ace at 22-22. Kauk had a kill at 24-22. The Lady Panthers won a long volley to win the set 25-23.
Paola fell behind 3-8 in the fourth set. Richmond had a kill at 4-8. Kuehl had kills at 5-9 and 6-10. Kauk added a kill at 7-11. Clark had a kill down the line at 8-12. Richmond had a kill at 10-17. Kauk added a kill at 11-20. Kuehl had a kill at 12-20. Paola lost the set 17-25.
Richmond had a kill at 1-3 in the fifth set. Kauk had a block at 2-4.
Clark, a front row hitter, played on the back row. She also served for the Lady Panthers. Kuehl had a block and a kill to tie the set at 6-6. Richmond had a kill at 8-9 and a tip at the net at 9-11.
Clark had a kill at 10-13. Paola was down to its last point at 11-14. Bishop had a kill at 12-14. Kuehl had a tip at the net at 13-14. Armbruster had a big dig on a volley and Paola took the point on a kill by Kuehl to tie the set at 14-14. Paola lost the set 14-16.