Winding up in the consolation bracket would seem a sad way to end a long day of volleyball, but that wasn’t necessarily the case for Lee’s Summit or Lee’s Summit North.
While Lee’s Summit wasn’t thrilled with narrowly missing the championship bracket during Saturday’s 22nd annual Bronco Volleyball Invitational at Lee’s Summit North, the Tigers made up for their disappointment by taking the consolation championship.
North, which fell to Lee’s Summit in the consolation semifinals, was equally thrilled to notch its first two wins of the season.
After holding off North 25-19, 25-21, Lee’s Summit beat Raymore-Peculiar 25-19, 25-22 in the consolation final.
It’s not where the Tigers wanted to finish, but after ending pool play with a tie against Park Hill South, a loss to St. Teresa’s Academy and a win over Springfield Central, Lee’s Summit decided to make the best of it.
“From that point, that meant we’re like, ‘OK, we have to do the best that we can from here on out,’” Lee’s Summit coach Lori Hanaway said. “That meant going 2-0, and they did it. If we’re going to be here (in the consolation bracket), let’s win it.”
Hanaway thought the Tigers’ mental toughness and resolve showed in the second game against North.
The Broncos jumped out to an early lead and were still up 20-18 before the Tigers won seven of the final eight points to rally for a victory.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve done a really good job at finishing those close matches,” Hanaway said. “Even when we’re down a little bit, it’s ‘step up and let’s take control’ and I think they’re doing really well with that.”
North, which entered the tournament winless in eight matches, didn’t waste any time picking up its first win of the season.
The Broncos opened early-morning pool play with a 25-17, 25-21 victory over Oak Park. After splitting two sets with Jefferson City and falling against Truman, the Broncos dominated Liberty North 25-14, 25-16 in the first round of the consolation bracket before losing to the Tigers.
“That was a heavy weight off our shoulders to get over that hump,” North coach Shelby Hoffman said. “Overall, a pretty good day.”
Lee’s Summit West also had a good day, but it ended earlier than the Titans would have liked.
After placing second in their pool with wins over Liberty North and Ray-Pec and a loss to Ozark, West bowed out in the first round of the championship bracket with a 25-23, 25-19 loss to Park Hill South.
West coach Jennifer Morgan called it an up and down day for the Titans — who were missing three players because of illness, one of whom left after pool play.
“We were a little bit off our usual lineup,” Morgan said. “Park Hill South is a good team and we were in there fighting. I’m proud of how they played today.”
Ozark, a Class 4 state tournament qualifier last season, won the 14-team event with a 25-20, 26-24 victory in the championship match against last year’s tourney winner and reigning Class 3 state runner-up Pleasant Hill.