Riverton volleyball preps for 3A state tournament

The Rams are 38-3 heading to the state tournament in Hutchinson.

RIVERTON, Kan. – Going to state this weekend in Hutchinson is a business trip for the Riverton volleyball team.

“We definitely aren’t just going for the experience,” says head coach Rebecca Lipasek, “We are scouting every day, looking at a lot of game film and giving the kids information, trying to prepare them for the team’s we are going to play.”

It starts with three pool play games on Friday – with the goal of surviving to play Saturday.

“Only the top two teams in each pool get to continue on Saturday,” Lipasek says, “Riverton has had a handful of teams that have made it to the state tournament, but they’ve never made it into the top four.”

“It would be awesome,” says junior setter Morgan Compton, “It would be the best experience of my life. I just really want to put everything out there to try go get to that day.”

“We feel like it’s anybody’s title to go after on the second day,” Lipasek adds.

Riverton is in the state tournament for the second straight year. They were bounced in the first round last season. Due to COVID-19, the first round was played at school sites, so the team didn’t get the opportunity to play on the big stage in Hutchinson.

They were a young roster then, and they’re a young roster now.

What the Rams lack in experience, they make up in team chemistry.

“We have a lot of fun on and off the court,” Lipasek says of her team, “They all love hanging out with each other. We eat lunch every day together as a team. They’re just like family. They’re like a bunch of sisters hanging out together.”

“We’re all like sisters. We know each other pretty well. We’ve grown up together our whole lives,” Compton adds, “We get to stay together next year, too, because we don’t have any seniors.”

“I love their energy and their excitement,” Lipasek adds, “We don’t have any seniors, so they’re playing with house money sometimes it seems like.”

The Rams know what they’re up against this weekend – but they also know if they play well, they have a chance to make history and put Riverton volleyball on the map.

“Southeast Kansas sometimes doesn’t have the reputation that some of the schools around Wichita and Topeka do,” Lipasek finishes, “They get a lot of recognition, and they deserve it because they make it to that second day and they win state titles. I think it’s time for a southeast Kansas team to go really make some noise.”

Riverton faces Smoky Valley in their first pool play game on Friday at 8:30 AM. They will turn around and face Beloit at 10:30 AM and Eureka at 1:30 PM.