SM East can’t fend off top ranked Olathe Northwest in battle of state’s best volleyball teams

SM East's Ellie Booton sets up for a spike against Olathe Northwest.
SM East’s Ellie Booton sets up for a spike against Olathe Northwest.

If there was one thing that should have been obvious to even the casual observer in the SM East auxiliary gym on Monday, it was that the game being played featured some of the highest level of high school volleyball you can find.

Olathe Northwest came into the Lancers gym on Monday as part of a triangular that included SM South and emerged with yet another win, beating SM East 2-1 in three hard-fought sets in a battle between the top two ranked teams in Kansas.

The Ravens, who are ranked first in the state by the Kansas Volleyball Association and ninth in the country by PrepVolleyball.com, set the tone early by taking a first set lead that they played out for a relatively easy 25-22 win. But SM East bounced back in the second set, getting on the board with a 25-22 win of their own.

In the third set, however, a slew of missteps by the Lancers let the Ravens jump ahead early, and SM East could never recover. Ravens junior right side hitter Tyanna Omazic, 6’2″, seemed to find her stride and put away a number of balls that the Lancers couldn’t dig out. The Ravens took the decisive set 25-17.

Still, SM East coach Patty Phillips was bullish on her team’s performance against such a high caliber team.

“I think they played a fantastic match,” Phillips said. “Olathe Northwest is a wonderful, talented team. They have great coaching. And for us to push them to three sets was fantastic.”

SM East will try to keep its excellent season going this weekend in Lawrence where it competes in a tournament.

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