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Archive for Friday, October 22, 1993

LHS VOLLEYBALL TITLE IN JEOPARDY

October 22, 1993

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The illegal participation of two Lawrence High volleyball players in four tournaments has forced the Lions to forfeit four victories.

Lawrence High's volleyball team has forfeited four victories and its Sunflower League title is in jeopardy after it was discovered the Lions violated state association regulations.

Jaunelle Hamilton and Kelly Miller, who started the season on the junior varsity, each competed in four tournaments. Kansas State High School Activities Assn. rules limit participation to a maximum of three tournaments.

LHS immediately forfeited all its games in the Leavenworth JV tournament for Miller's participation. It also forfeited the second game in each match in the Sunflower League tournament for Hamilton's participation.

The Lions did not absorb any losses since, with the forfeitures, they actually split each of their four pool play matches.

"I interpreted the definition of tournament incorrectly," LHS coach Joan Wells said. "I couldn't feel worse about it. It's my mistake. I take full responsibility for it. It was unfortunate and purely unintentional."

The status of Lawrence's league championship will be decided at the league's athletic directors' meeting on Nov. 15. Their tournament finish is in question because their pool play record -- once 4-0 in matches -- is now 4-4 in games.

"I really don't know what they'll do," Lawrence AD Darrell Falen said. "What I'm going to do is, we're hosting a coaches' meeting here. We'll talk about it then and ask the coaches to express their opinions to their athletic directors.

"The problem is, how do you reconstruct the tournament? A record of 4-4 might not have been good enough to be in the playoffs."

Hamilton and Miller will be held out of the Lions' next competition -- sub-state Saturday at Leavenworth. KSHSAA postseason matches are not included in the participation limits.

The Lions could face further sanctions if a protest is filed with the KSHSAA, Falen said, but he said a protest was unlikely since he drafted the self-imposed sanctions with the association's help.

Falen sent a letter explaining the situation to the ADs of all the schools LHS has played and to the KSHSAA.

"(The KSHSAA) can do anything they want," Falen said. "But we hope this is the end of it. We hope it's cleared up by state time. We hope they take into consideration our clean record. We're human. We goofed."

Wells said she couldn't predict the league's decision on the title.

"Anything can happen," she said. "It's a complete surprise to me. It's probably cut and dried in a situation like this."

The Lions' record fell to 33-1, and Wells said their sub-state seeding was not affected. The tourney's top seed, LHS will face fourth-seeded Topeka at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"It's another distraction," Wells said. "It's something else we needed to deal with this week. But I think the kids handled it as well as they could. We'll try to make it a positive thing."

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