Southwest High School hosts Volleyfest 2008 on Saturday in Washburn. Seven teams, including two from Arkansas, will compete in the annual event. Action begins at 9 a.m. and the championship is scheduled for around 3 p.m.
"It's an exciting time for us," said Southwest Coach Steve Voyak. "This is the fourth year in our new gym and in the expanded format. It's a great way to highlight our school and community. It's competitive but also a family atmosphere."
Besides the host Lady Trojans, teams from Blue Eye, Cassville, Forsyth, Huntsville (Ark.), Shiloh Christian (Springdale, Ark.) and Verona are entered. Blue Eye is the defending champ.
Each team will play four matches (or eight sets) in pool play. Following that, the teams will be ranked on wins and losses and the seventh place team will be eliminated.
In championship play, fifth place plays sixth place for the consolation title, while third and fourth play for third. The top two teams play for the championship following those matches. Trophies are awarded to the top three teams. Additionally, the coaches vote for an all-tourney team.
"Volleyball is all about momentum and Blue Eye came out of nowhere last season," Voyak said. "This year's field is wide open. Shiloh is excellent and Huntsville is not far behind. Cassville is another team that can put together a string of wins."
Southwest played six matches last week, losing five of them. The lone win came against Marionville, while the Lady Trojans lost to East Newton, Central from Springfield, Christian from St. Louis, Lee's Summit from Kansas City and Diamond.
"We play hard in spurts, but as soon as the game gets tough, we don't respond," Voyak said. "Our commitment is lacking right now. It's my fault. We just aren't playing up to our potential. Our energy isn't there. We need some of the leaders of the team to step up."