Emporia The Free State High volleyball team won the Emporia Invitational, defeating the top two seeds in the playoffs.
The Firebirds, seeded third, swept Washburn Rural in the semis, 25-12, 25-20, before squeaking by top-seeded Maize in the championship, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23.
"It was a total team effort," Free State coach Nancy Hopkins said. "Everybody played to their abilities."
En route to the final four, Free State enountered a familiar foe: cross-town rival Lawrence High. The Lions, seeded last in the tournament, took the Firebirds to three games but fell, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14.
"It's always fun to beat Lawrence High," Hopkins said. "Regardless if they're having a rough season, they played us tough."
Free State (24-9) will play in a quad Tuesday at Blue Valley. State playoffs will start Saturday.