BY CORA TASSET
The Hays High School volleyball team hosted its first volleyball tournament of the year Saturday with eight teams competing, including the Indians, Thomas More Prep-Marian, Colby, Bucklin, Salina Central, Salina South, Scott City and Wheatland-Grinnell.
The high school took precautions for COVID-19, including temperature checks at the door and wearing face masks for fans and players while sitting on the bench.
Pool play kicked off Saturday morning, and Game 1 started with the Indians against Bucklin. Hays High beat the Red Aces in the first match of the day. Game 2 was TMP against Wheatland-Grinnell. The Monarchs beat the Thunderhawks in two sets. Game 3 was Colby versus Salina South. Each team won a set, forcing a third game, and the Eagles pulled through and won the match.
Round two of pool play started with Salina Central against Scott City. The Mustangs won the first set, but the Beavers came back and won the second, forcing a third set. Scott City won the final set. Game 5 was the Thunderhawks versus Colby. The Eagles eventually won the match. Game 6 was the Monarchs versus the Cougars. TMP won against Salina South in two sets.
The third round of pool play was all tied up 1-1 forcing each game into a third set. Game 7 started with Hays High against Salina Central. The Indians and the Mustangs both won a set, but Hays High won the match. Game 8 was the Aces versus the Beavers. Both teams won a set, but Bucklin pulled through and won the match. Game nine was Wheatland-Grinnell against Salina South. Once again, both teams won a set, but the Cougars took home the match.
Game 10 started out the final round of pool play. Hays High played Scott City, and beat them in two sets. Game 11 was TMP versus Colby, and the Monarchs beat the Eagles in two sets. Game 12 was the Mustangs against the Aces. Both Salina Central and Bucklin won a set, forcing a third game. The Mustangs took home the match eventually.
After pool play, Hays High and TMP were tied with 3-0 records. Colby was next at 2-1. Bucklin, Salina Central, Salina South and Scott City were tied at 1-2. The Thunderhawks went 0-3. Hays High celebrated its senior volleyball players early this year with their Senior Recognition before bracket play started.
Hays High and TMP started out on top in bracket play. Hays High played against Colby, and TMP faced Salina Central. The Indians beat the Eagles 25-12 in the first set and 25-16 in the second set to reach the finals. The Monarchs beat the Mustangs 25-18 in the first set and 25-6 in the second set to win the match and make the finals.
Colby and Salina Central played for third place in the tournament. The Eagles beat the Mustangs 25-23 in the first set and 25-20 in the second set. The Eagles took home third place.
Hays High and TMP played for first place in the tournament. The Monarchs won the first set 25-22, but the Indians battled back and won the second set 25-18. TMP won the third set 25-23, taking the match and first place at the season-opening tournament.