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Royal Valley Volleyball Bounces Back, Sweeps Night in Holton
By Jake Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports

Holton, KS

Jumping back into Big 7 league action since their first loss of the year, Royal Valley traveled to Holton to get back on the winning track, now trying to catch Sabetha to claim a league title. Following their first two losses of the year, the Panthers played in a tournament hosted by Humboldt and quickly revived their confidence, going 4-0 on the day. They continued that confident play on Tuesday night sweeping Holton 2-1 and 2-0.

In match one, Royal Valley dominated the 'Cats jumping out early and never looking back. Behind strong net play from Seniors Ivy Fink and Morgan Harvey, the Panthers cruised to take set one 25-10. In the second set, something clicked for Holton after falling behind early. Holton would use a 6-0 run mid-way through the set to take the lead and not look back, claiming set two 25-17 and forcing a third and decisive set. It would be the first time in over two years that the Panthers and Wildcats would go to three sets, as Royal Valley had previously swept Holton the past four outings. In the final set, Holton would lead 12-10 midway through the set before a Royal Valley rally to lead 15-12. Holton would battle back to tie the set up at 18-18, 21-21 before Harvey would take it the rest of the way, serving the Panthers out to a 25-21 victory.

In the second match, the Panthers reminded everyone why they are the defending 3A state champions and one of the best teams in class 3A here in 2020. Harvey began the match serving for the Panthers and served fifteen consecutive points for Royal Valley before Holton finally broke serve. Fink, Harvey and fellow senior Emma McKinsey had everything rolling in set one of match two with Fink and Harvey beneficiaries of phenomenal set play by McKinsey leading the Panthers to an easy 25-7 win. In set two of the match, Harvey started out just as good as set one, leading Royal Valley to an early 3-0 lead before Holton broke serve. The Wildcats would find themselves in striking distance with fine net play from senior Saydee Tanking who stepped up trying to slow down the aggressive attackers from Royal Valley. Holton would briefly grab the lead at 9-8 on a kill from Tanking, but the Panthers proved once again they are a team to watch out for as they hit the gas and took set two 25-17.

Royal Valley (15-2) looks to continue their title defense this weekend, picking up another tournament before returning to Big 7 league play next Tuesday at home against Perry-Lecompton. Coach Gary Armstrong was hopeful to see Kennedy Bryan back on the floor next week, Bryan has missed every match up to this point and proved as a freshman last year to be a dominant complimentary piece along with Fink, McKinsey and Harvey.

Holton (8-9) will look to bounce back as they head to Wamego this weekend before returning to Big 7 league play as they host the undefeated Sabetha Bluejays next Tuesday night. You can catch next Tuesday's match live, free and worldwide on the Holton Channel

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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