By RICK PETERSON
Three-set matches were the order of the day for Silver Lake's volleyball team in Saturday's 10-school Rossville Invitational, with the Eagles playing four three-setters on the day, including a win over rival Rossville in the semifinals.
But after coming out on top in three straight three-setters, the Eagles' good fortune ran out in the championship match against Tonganoxie, which outlasted Silver Lake, 25-17, 16-25, 25-23 to cap a perfect 6-0 day, including two wins over Lake.
"These girls don't give up on themselves and they know they've got it in them so we might go on a roller-coaster ride, but they know they can finish, they know their capabilities and their skill set so we just kept fighting to the end,'' said Silver Lake coach Sarah Johnson, who team is 13-4 on the year.
Tonganoxie opened up 17-10 and 21-12 first-set leads over the Eagles in the final before closing out the eight-point win, but Silver Lake answered with a strong performance in the second set.
Silver Lake went up 3-0 on a service ace from junior Alana Brewster and took a 6-1 lead on a kill from sophomore Jaiden Wise.
Later in the set the Eagles broke a 12-12 tie with three straight points, including kills from Brewster and Wise and Silver Lake forced a third set with six straight points, getting a long service run from senior McKinley Kruger and a pair of kills from senior Makenzie McDaniel to close out the nine-point victory.
Tonganoxie built a 21-12 lead in the third set but Silver Lake fought back to within 24-23 with a 4-0 run, getting kills from senior Kaibryn Kruger, junior Ella Bolan and Brewster before the Chieftains clinched the title on a kill from senior Lucy Rieke.
After finishing second to Tonganoxie in Pool II with a 3-1 record, Silver Lake outlasted Pool I champ Rossville in a three-set semifinal, with the Eagles taking a 25-23, 19-25, 25-18 victory to advance to the title match.
The loss to Silver Lake was the only loss of the day for Dani Dodge's Bulldawgs, who bounced back to take a 25-12, 25-12 win over Wamego in the third-place match.
In a scheduling quirk, Silver Lake and Rossville (11-2) will square off again on Tuesday at Silver Lake.
"I felt today went really, really well,'' said Dodge, a former Washburn Rural standout. "We pushed through pool play with a breeze, beat everyone two and out until we got to bracket play but we'll come back Tuesday.
"We've got a long road ahead of us, but we are ready. I think we're really solid and we are ready to go.''
Hayden went 2-3 on the day, with Corrinne McGreevy's Wildcats ending the tournament with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-14 win over Pleasant Ridge.
The Wildcats, now 6-10 on the season, opened up a commanding third-set advantage over the Rams on a kill from junior Bella Reid before closing out the 11-point win.
Hayden's lone win in pool play was a 25-23, 25-15 decision over Osage City while the Wildcats took losses against tournament finalists Silver Lake (25-23, 21-25, 25-18) and Tongnoxie (25-19, 25-15) and Abilene (25-18, 25-18).
"I thought they played really hard,'' McGreevy said. "There were some games that we should have had and they know that and we know what we have to do for next week to get better, but we're right there.
"The biggest thing is right now we're just beating ourselves. We just have to limit our errors and we're going to be really good.''
Pool I results
Rossville def. Ottawa, 25-18, 25-16; Rossville def. Wamego, 25-21, 25-11; Rossville def. Holton, 25-16, 26-24; Rossville def. Pleasant Ridge, 25-14, 25-17; Wamego def. Ottawa, 26-24, 25-20; Ottawa def. Holton, 25-15, 25-17; Ottawa def. Pleasant Ridge, 33-31, 19-25, 25-21; Holton def. Wamego, 25-11, 25-20; Pleasant Ridge def. Holton, 25-17, 25-27, 28-26; Wamego def. Pleasant Ridge, 25-20, 15-25, 25-18.
Pool II results
Silver Lake def. Hayden, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18; Tonganoxie def. Hayden, 25-19, 25-15; Hayden def. Osage City, 25-23, 25-15; Abilene def. Hayden, 25-18, 25-18; Tonganoxie def. Silver Lake, 25-16, 25-19; Silver Lake def. Osage City, 25-12, 25-17; Silver Lake def. Abilene, 15-25, 25-14, 25-22; Tonganoxie def. Osage City, 25-18, 25-15; Tonganoxie def. Abilene, 25-15, 22-25, 25-17; Abilene def. Osage City, 25-18, 25-21.
Semifinals -- Silver Lake def. Rossville, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18; Tonganoxie def. Wamego, 25-12, 25-9.
Third -- Rossvile def. Wamego, 25-12, 25-12.
Championship -- Tonganoxie def. Silver Lake, 25-17, 16-25, 25-23.
CPLS claims second straight tournament title
Cair Paravel Latin's volleyball team defeated Mission Valley to win the Hartford Invitational championship on Saturday.
The Hartford title followed up the Lions' title in the Frankfort Invitational the previous Saturday.