The Missouri high school volleyball postseason begins with district first-round matches on Monday. Here is a quick look at some teams to watch in the playoffs:
1. LEE’S SUMMIT WEST
The Titans are trying to win their fifth straight district volleyball championship. They had advanced to the Missouri Class 4 state Final Four three straight seasons before falling one match shy last fall.
“We missed going to state last year by five points,” Titans coach Lori Hanaway said. “Hopefully that was a lesson well-learned.”
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Carlisa May, Elle Sandbothe, Taylor Akason, Brooke Renshaw, Lydia Hunter and Kailin Cordes make up the six-player lineup for the Titans.
May, Sandbothe, and Akason form a formidable defensive wall on the front line, with May pacing the team in kills.
The Blue Jays were unbeaten in the Independence Invitational on Saturday. They are 25-0-2 this season.
Senior outside hitter Madison Duello, who has committed to Wisconsin, leads the team in kills, kill efficiency and serve-receive percentage. Senior setter Lauren Petersen, an Arkansas State commit, is the team’s leader in assists. Junior libero Dominique Lipari paces the team in digs.
Liberty has won two straight district championships, but it lost in the first round of sectionals both seasons.
“We’re hoping to jump over that hurdle this year,” Blue Jays coach April Fleming said.
3. ST. PIUS X
The Warriors have won five straight district titles, and they have reached the Missouri Class 3 state Final Four each of the past three seasons.
Not much has changed in the way of expectations this fall after the Warriors finished 20-4-2 in the regular season.
“I have high expectations for this team, especially since we did take third at state last year,” Warriors coach Krista Daniels said. “They have high expectations for themselves, too, which causes them to go hard every day in practice. I expect this team to be very successful in the postseason.”
St. Pius X is led by senior libero Anne Geiger, who averages 5.8 receptions per set, and senior outside hitter Sarah Schiesl, who averages nearly three kills per set.
4. PLATTE COUNTY
Platte County is 28-2-2 this season, with its only two losses coming against unbeaten Liberty. The Pirates are the top seed in Class 4, District 16, and they could earn a rematch with Liberty if they win their district championship.
The Pirates have done well in tournament play this season — winning their own Platte County Invitational and the Grandview Invitational in September. They were 5-1-1 in the Independence Invitational on Saturday.