CLAY CENTER — Holton handed the Concordia Panthers a loss in three sets in the opening round of the Class 4A Division II sub-state volleyball tournament on Saturday.
With the loss the Panthers finish up the season, 10-28.
Holton lost 25-15, 25-19 to Clay Center (25-14) in the championship match.
Clay Center, with a 25-13, 25-17 victory over Chapman in the opening round, advances to the first ever Division II state tournament to be played Friday and Saturday in Salina.
Concordia won the first set against Holton, 25-22.
“We knew it would be a close battle until the end and would come down to which team made the least amount of errors or who had the momentum and found a way to get kills,” Concordia coach Rio Brown said, “This was a new atmosphere to play in for a lot of our girls, and I thought they came out with fire and intensity in the first set and responded well. We played to win in the first set, and had the momentum.”
Holton evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-18 win in the second set.
The Wildcats won the third and deciding set, 25-22.
“We started out slow in the second set making too many errors in a row and giving Holton the momentum,” Brown said, “The girls fought hard and picked up more balls on defense than we have in the past, we just didn’t execute by putting the ball away enough. Credit Holton, they have a great defense and picked up a lot of our tough hits. They were scrappy and made it hard on our hits. We just didn’t convert into enough kills. Our blocking was late at times, and their hitters found holes. We also struggled a couple of times with serve receive late in the game, giving them a couple of easy free ball opportunities. It was very close the entire way and I am very proud of the girls for leaving it out on the court. I am pleased with the effort the girls put forth and how they didn’t give up fighting”
Jordan Eshbaugh had 13 kills, two blocks and 10 digs for Concordia.
Jera Metro had 12 kills, 17 digs and seven service points.
Leyli Beims finished with 12 kills and five blocks.
Faith Balthazor had 90 good sets in 91 attempts with 30 assists, 10 digs and five service points.
Shania Anguish had 22 digs and five service points.
Chandler Lamm had eight digs and Sabrina Stolzenburg had five digs.
“We will miss our three seniors. They are a great group of girls. We appreciate the hard work, dedication and leadership they have brought to the CHS volleyball team over the last four years,” Brown said.