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Bring the Heat - WSL Regular Season Champions

Karl Brubaker

October 03, 2017

Goessel Volleyball @ Hope – Rural Vista and Herington    October 3, 2017


Rural Vista’s young squad sparkles with rising talent.  The (19-4 overall, 7-0 league) Heat had lost coming in to tonight’s match only to esteemed 2A opponent Salina Sacred Heart, Southern Coffey County, and Cair Paravel.  Three Brockmeiers (two of them freshman twins) and a Campuzano all show good hands.  The evening’s matches were played in Hope’s old gym and the official count for ceiling hits on the night was 276, including one tile replacement.   This match was for the regular season title, with the Bluebirds coming in at 8-0 (27-0 overall).  Rural Vista’s 1A-I post-season hopes took a massive lift with Goessel moving to 2A and the home town fans buzzed with hope that a miracle awaited.


Rural Vista

Out of the chute, the teams traded frescoes, with Brittney Hiebert plastering one to start.  Knotted at 4, Cierra Nolte pushed one perfectly right into the deepest nook of the northeast corner for the first lead of the night.  Eden laid down an ace so soft it made the walking tacos in fans’ hands go limp.   In the front left corner, Leah Booton found a perfect set from Savanna Wuest and stroked it so hard it rolled all the way to the 2nd gym, nearly 200 yards away, snaking its way through the hallways.  9-6.  Another fine finish from Booton, a punch down from Eden Hiebert and a Booton ace completed the 4-0 run to 13-7 and Rural Vista’s coach Adam Sobba called time.


Brittney snuffed the Heat attack to go up 14-7.   Eden pummeled one into the Rural Vista cheering section, causing one of the nattily dressed partisans to nearly lose his balance.   Stillwell had a nice finish that looked like it was going to close the score to 16-10, but it was reversed by the officials as a back row attack.  Nolte crushed a right side shot so hard the bleachers shuddered off an incredible Wuest back set.   Wuest then stepped up and galloped a straight line arc in for the ace 19-9.  Timeout RV.  The rest of this set was not pretty, with the Heat yielding 4 on errors and Goessel hitting out for 3 more.  Stephany Meyer notched a nice down block and Audessi Unruh closed set 1 with an ace 25-12.


The 2nd set went through 5 lead changes and again provided the home fans with hope for the long awaited “win against Goessel.”  Eden showed strong in the left corner, blasting one all the way across the tracks, then pushed one deep for an exquisite finesse finish.   Sawyer had one of the best RV finishes of the night, crushing one against the Bluebird block.  Eden left no doubt who was in charge, however, with a finish down the line to go to 5-5.  On errors it went to 6-7, but Brittney delivered one of numerous manifestos in the middle that simply were “un-defendable.”  Rural Vista pushed back with three earned points until Eden found pay-dirt with a low arc back row effort. 9-10.  Brittney smacked two in the middle and Leah finished from the outside to take it to 12-10 in a key sequence. 


Once again the teams traded nice play, including a great RV retrieval from the edge of the stands, a knock down Eden punch and a great down block from Eden.  A quick run took it again to 15-16, but Goessel went “go-to” and Eden smacked one cross court so hard it woke up the Tampa Chief of Seismology. In a superb run with Unruh serving, Goessel got a block in the middle from Brittney as well as a block from Brittney and Leah to take it to 22-17.  Timeout RV.  Brittney had her breakfast of toast with the favorite jam this morning; we suggest consuming that same breakfast every game night; her middle finishes tonight likely gave her an outstanding hitting percentage on the night.  Goessel earned an incredible 21 of their points in a well played set, with Booton closing and Eden adding an exclamation point to earn the 2017 regular season Wheat State League championship at 25-19.




The Bluebirds were never behind in the 2nd Wheat State league matchup of the night.   The Railers have a freshman, Carrie Roe, who may be their best player.   To start, Savanna “muscled the tussle” at the net winning the joust and going up 2-1.  Eden cruised down a left side missile.    Herington stormed back with some nifty serving until Leah put the ‘Birds back up to stay with a crushing blow from the left corner that snuggled its way down Route 4 and was last seen heading for White City.  Back and forth errors took it to 8-8 until Booton again found the range with a “boom goes the dynamite” round that caused a moment of silence in the auditorium.  With Kara Burkholder serving, Savanna was credited with a right side kill and Brittney found an open spot to lead 11-8.  Timeout Herington.  Leah took a Wuest set and massaged it into the hardwood, then Brittney flummoxed a quick slide set down so fast you just really couldn’t hear the train coming……  The run continued with another quick middle hit and an ace to 17-8.  In this set, Coach Guhr experimented with a slightly different serving rotation than usual.  Eden finished a nice back row effort.   It appeared the Railers let down their guard and the Bluebirds flew, putting this one away on a 7-1 run to close.  25-12.


Herington finds itself in the 2A Marion sub-state with Goessel, Canton-Galva, Hillsboro,  Alma-Wabaunsee,  Allen-Northern Heights , Olpe, and Marion.   Adding Goessel and Olpe to the 2A mix is not causing persons in this sub-state to dance in the streets.   In the 2nd set tonight, Herington appeared ready either to head home or play Rural Vista in the closing contest of the evening.  Goessel put 6 aces on the board in this one, starting off with two from Leah sandwiched around a Brittney smack-down.  Goessel made two errors, one a service error and another a long hit out; the Railers earned 4.  Savanna had a Sport Center highlight block on Roe.  Eden coasted several into open Herington waters.  Nolte finished nicely on the right and Meyer/Nolte notched a great double block.   Nolte found the range off another pretty Wuest set and nearly punched a hole in the Hope athletic office wall with a resounding kill.   Goessel’s defensive efforts were solid; on one play deep in this set Wuest leaned into the third hit after a dig and off-kilter pass, got the arc up and…… barely over the nylon…..just enough to confuse the receiver, who hit into the net.  Although not the average play, it symbolized the high level of effort exhibited by the Bluebirds tonight.    To top off the evening, appropriately enough it was Brittney who delivered the coup de grace with a solid middle hit to close 25-6.


Goessel moves to 29-0 overall and 10-0 in the league.    With the move to 2A, Kansas Volleyball Association rankings come out tomorrow and it will be interesting to discover how the association will place newcomers Goessel and Olpe into the 2A leader mix.


Congratulations to the Bluebirds on completing yet another Wheat State League championship!


Goessel plays next against Inman and Moundridge.  Inman will be a good test match against a quality 2A opponent prior to the league tournament at Goessel  October 14th.    Sub-state is at Marion on October 21st.  Best wishes Bluebirds!


Karl Brubaker

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