SUNDAY, Oct. 23, 2021


         WAVERLY – Without a tune-up match after a layoff of two-and-a-half weeks, the Altoona-Midway High School volleyball team had to jump back into action in the Class 1A, Division II sub-state tournament.

         The Lady Jets, entering the post-season bracket as the fifth seed, dropped a 25-19, 25-12 decision to the fourth-seeded Hartford Lady Jaguars in the opening sub-state match here Saturday.

         With the loss, AMHS closes out the season with a 4-22 record. The Lady Jets also bid farewell to five senior squad members: Mariah Stackhouse, Bailey Graham, Alyssa Relph, Abi Elsesser, and Tiffany Kuhn; as well as senior Jada Davis, team manager.

         “This season has been a special one for me,” noted AMHS head coach Michelle Morales. “Working with my daughter Mariah and the other five seniors for the past two seasons has been so memorable and so much fun.”

         Despite the loss, Morales had praise for the rest of the squad members as well.

         “The girls played hard and never gave up. They hustled and played their game. I'm so beyond proud of them all,” Morales said. “Abi Elsesser had a great game today leading in passes. Mariah Stackhouse, Alyssa Relph and Emmalynn Pupanek were beasts on the net, blocking, hitting and playing smart. Hartford just had a little too much for us.

“I want to thank the girls for always playing hard and never giving up. I can't wait for next season.”

Stackhouse led the Lady Jets with eight kills, while Elsesser had three and Pupanek had two. In serves, Autumn Raymond and Relph each recorded five, Stackhouse had three and Graham one, with all four of those servers recording one ace apiece.

Elsesser was the AMHS passing leader with 14, followed by Stackhouse with seven and Chloe Stewart with six. Graham handed out five assists and Summer Raymond collected four, while Relph recorded four blocks, Pupanek three and Autumn Raymond two.

Hartford was eliminated in the semifinals by top-seeded Lebo, which went on to claim the sub-state championship with a 25-11, 25-15 victory over Southern Coffey County.

Lebo, 36-4, advances to the Class 1A DII State Volleyball Tournament Oct. 29-30 at Emporia’s White Auditorium.

The Lady Wolves will be the No.1 seed at state, and will be paired in pool play with Grainfield-Wheatland/Grinnell, Hutchinson-Central Christian, and Bucklin. The pool for other half of the bracket will consist of Hanover, Central Plains, Dighton, and Lost Springs-Centre.