WMS volleyball team earns third at Oregon Trail League tournament

Submitted by Dakota McQueen, WHS Student Correspondent

On Oct. 8, the Wetmore Middle School volleyball team loaded up the bus and started their journey to Oregon Trail League (OTL) volleyball at Nemaha Central.

Earlier in the week, Head Coach Connie Hutfles said, “I’m waiting to tell the girls what they are ranked and which teams are in their pool. I don’t need them worrying all week.”

Going into the tournament, Wetmore was ranked second with a record of 10 and 2.

For the first round of pool play, Wetmore was faced up against Saints Peter and Paul School. The two sets flew by, and ended with the Cardinals taking over the Trojans, 25-18 and 25-21.

The next opponent was Onaga. The first set was a brutal one, and the Cardinals topped the Buffalos, 25-9. The second set wasn’t as easy as the first and it was a fight to the top. Wetmore ended up winning 25-21, winning the match.

The last game of pool play ended up being one of the toughest fights for the girls.

Facing Nemaha Central, the girls struggled in serving, which hurt them. The Thunder came out solid and beat the Cardinals 25-10 and 25-12.

It wasn’t the end for the Cardinals, since they finished second in their pool. Finally, they were placed in bracket play, where they were set to face Frankfort. Again, the Cardinals struggled with serves and were mentally upset from their recent loss. The Wildcats beat the Cardinals in two sets — 25-11 and 25-15.

Upset over their two recent losses, the Cardinals were out for blood as they played for third against Doniphan West. It was a battle for both teams as the game ended up going three sets.

Down to the wire, the Cardinals were up 26-25. Upon the Cardinals’ serve, the whistle blew, signaling Doniphan West was out of alignment. The Cardinals won the game 27-25.

Coach Hutfles, who was aided by assistant coach Stacy Honas, is proud of her team.

“This was one of the most talented groups of athletes that I have coached in quite a while. We were a very experienced team, and that helped us immensely. Many of the girls played summer ball and that was a bonus. These ladies are extremely competitive, and they have incredibly positive attitudes,” Hutfles said.

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