ALTAMONT — Hosting a rare set of matches on a Saturday morning, the Labette County Grizzlies hosted Chetopa-St. Paul, St. Mary’s Colgan and Coffeyville. Saturday’s matches were scheduled after the Charger Classic in Cherryvale was canceled due to scheduling efforts in the pandemic.

“We’re blessed to have an opportunity to play at home on a Saturday morning,” Labette County head coach Heather Wilson said. “We saw teams that we haven’t faced very often. They’re all quality ball clubs and we wanted to see how we stacked up against them.” 

Labette County went 2-1 on the day while Chetopa-St. Paul went 1-2. Brali Conard, a star outside hitter for Chetopa-St. Paul, missed the matches due to be quarantined.

Labette County bested Chetopa-St. Paul 2-0 (26-24, 25-23). 

For the Chetopa-St. Paul, Elise Doherty led with eight kills and four blocks while Claire Bradshaw added seven.

“We started off sluggish and very slow and built back,” Chetopa-St. Paul head coach Jill Blackledge said. “We had a lot of missed serves against Labette County. We just don’t know how to finish a game and that’s something we’re working on.” 

The narrow sweep for the Grizzlies came in the midst of a restructuring following an injury to junior Madison Brannin, who is out with a concussion.

Anna Dean led the Grizzlies with eight kills and eight digs, Lauren Forbes had six kills and Shelbi Wilson had 20 assists.

“We lost a key player this week in Madison Brannin,” Wilson said. “We reformatted our lineup. On paper, it looked great. We were still working out some kinks early. Chetopa-St. Paul is very quality and we didn’t get down. We pushed to the end instead of folding when we could have.” 

Chetopa-St. Paul got its lone win over Coffeyville by a score of 2-0 (25-18, 25-13).

Josey Harris paced Chetopa-St. Paul with four kills while Sophia Albertini added three aces.

“I felt like we just got by against Coffeyville,” Blackledge said. “We didn’t have any talk or rhythm. We didn’t have any hard hits, it felt like. Our setters have to give a good pass. We’ve got to learn to play together again.” 

Chetopa-St. Paul wrapped the day with a 2-0 (25-16, 25-6) loss to St. Mary’s Colgan.

Bradshaw led with four kills while Katie Carter had five assists.

Now 13-7 on the year, Chetopa-St. Paul travels to Oswego on Tuesday to face Crest and Oswego in a pair of Three Rivers League matches.

“We’re going to work a lot on the things we’re struggling on,” Blackledge said. “That’s passing and serving.” 

As for Labette County, it dropped its second match to St. Mary’s Colgan in three sets 2-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-12). 

Dean piled up seven kills and nine digs, Shelbi Wilson had 18 assists and nine digs while Claire Carnahan had seven digs.

“Colgan was for sure the best team,” Wilson said. “They’ve got some kids that can put the ball down. But we didn’t back down at all. It took a lot of energy to go at them. We weren’t firing on all cylinders in the second and third set. Colgan does a good job of taking you out of your game.” 

The day wrapped for Labette County with a dominant 2-0 (25-8, 25-9) win over Coffeyville. 

Forbes led with six kills, Dean added five kills with 11 digs while Shelbi Wilson had three aces, three kills, 17 assists and eight digs.

Labette County now gears up for pair of SEK League matches at Fort Scott.

“We didn’t let the day get away from us,” Wilson said. “We wanted to play for Madison. Now we’re excited to see Fort Scott. They’re at the top of the league and vastly improved. It’ll be a fun one.” 

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