HALSTEAD — Off to its best start in years, the Halstead Dragon volleyball team returned home Tuesday to sweep a triangular.
Halstead stopped Larned 25-10, 25-10 in Central Kansas League play. Halstead downed Life Prep 25-8, 25-7 in non-league play.
The Dragons improve to 20-8, 4-2 in CKL play. Halstead already has a seven-win improvement over last season.
“Last year, we only won two league games and now we have four league wins,” Halstead coach Diana Schutte said. “We have been playing much better. These girls have played together on varsity the last three years for the seniors. I have had a lot of them since the seventh grade, when I was the junior high coach. We have been working on playing together. We have been focusing on playing better defense.”
Halstead jumped out 14-4 in the first set against Larned. After an Indian time out, Halstead extended the run with a pair of aces. The Dragons allowed just six more points in the set.
Halstead jumped out 7-0 in the second set and never looked back.
Madyson Beckett led Halstead with eight kills, followed by Magdalena McKee with seven, Briana Winkel with six, Kaytlynn Millspaugh with six and Karenna Gerber with four.
Winkel served three aces, followed by Williams with two.
For Larned, Katie Fischer had three kills and a downed blocks, followed by Kaylee Krehbiel with three kills and Lynzi Myrick with a kill and two downed blocks. Krehbiel served two aces.
All of Life Prep’s eight points in the first set against Halstead, came off hitting errors or violations. Halstead used just five servers in the second set.
Life Prep didn’t have a kill in the match.
Gerber had seven kills. Beckett had five kills, all in the second set. McKee had four kills. Williams served eight aces, followed by Starr Barrett with six, Engel with four and Millspaugh with three.
“A lot of times when we play teams like that, we do have downturns,” Schutte said. “We sometimes play to the other team’s level. We have the Canton-Galva tournament this weekend, so we’re focusing on getting better for Saturday. We want to win that tournament.”
Life Prep trailed Larned 17-8 in the first set. Life Prep had five good serves against seven serving errors. Larned served nine aces in the run. After Life Prep’s second time out, Larned allowed just two points for the remainder of the set.
Larned jumped out 6-0 in the second set. Of Life Prep’s eight points in the second set, six came off Larned hitting errors.
Myrick led Larned with five kills, followed by Fischer with three. Mattie Glover served 10 aces, followed by Megan Stelter with four.
Life Prep had just two kills and one ace in the match.
Larned is 7-14, 2-4 in CKL play.
Halstead returns to play Saturday at the Canton-Galva Invitational. Seedings and pairings are expected to be made today.
“Goessel will be there, and they are a very good team,” Schutte said. “We finished third at their tournament. I’d like another shot at them. I think we could give them a run.”
Halstead def. Larned 25-10, 25-10
Larned def. Life Prep 25-10, 25-8
Halstead def. Life Prep 25-8, 25-7