The Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team showed no quit last night in a three-set match against the Higginsville Lady Huskers.
While dropping the first set 25-22, the Lady Pirates battled back to win Game 2 by a score of 25-23. Meanwhile, after trailing 20-15 in Game 3, Boonville rallied back behind the hitting of senior Taylor Fry and junior Anna Terlep  while outscoring the Huskers 10-1 the rest of the way for a 25-21 victory.
While the win improved Boonville’s record to 3-1 overall, head coach Susie Stone said the girls played with lots of heart, which is the strongest muscle of any team.
“We have to continue to get better every day and just take one more step,” Stone said. “We went on several long scoring runs when we were down by serving strong and blocking strong at the net and then we had some great defensive out of system plays that held us together. They had a strong hitter and after the first set I was pleased at how we handled our defensive adjustments against her, but we have to clean up all the off speed shots that scored against us. Several players stepped up for us tonight at key times and made big plays or put us on momentum runs to spark us as a team. For us to be successful it will take everyone doing their job every rally.”
Consistency was the problem in Game 1. While playing to six ties at 11-11, 12-12, 14-14, 17-17, 18-18 and 22-22, Boonville and Higginsville also led by no more than three points on four different occassions.
Unfortunately for the Lady Pirates, they struggled at the wrong times while allowing Higginsville to reel off the final-three points to take Game 1 25-22.
“I felt like we did not play consistently but when we put ourselves in bad situations we dug in and battled back and did not ever give up,” Stone said. “We did not the battle of serve-receive in this match. Higginsville served 13 aces over the course of three sets compared to our three aces, but they also had 11 missed serves compared to our six. When you struggle with ball control it is difficult to overcome this stat in the win column, but we found a way to take advantage of our strength over this team which was at the net and fight for our wins.”
The second set was just as close as the first. Although Boonville and Higginsville played to seven ties, the first part of the set was all Lady Huskers with four straight points on Boonville hitting errors.
Of course the Lady Pirates settled down after that and led by as much as three points on two different occassions. On both instances, Fry came up big for Boonville with a kill to make it 11-8. Then, after Higginsville pulled to within two at 12-10, Fry served up another kill to make it 13-10.
Boonville trailed by two on four different occassions after that but each time found a way to rally back to tie the match. Meanwhile, after Higginsville took a 23-21 lead on a service ace, Boonville came back and reeled off the next-four points on two hitting errors and two blocks by sophomore Jessica Luscombe to win 25-23.
In the final set, Higginsville again took control early while leading Boonville 5-1 after a hit out of bounds. Meanwhile, after trailing at one point by a score of 20-15, the Lady Pirates came back and reeled off nine straight points to go up 24-20. Then, after a kill by sophomore Taylor Ramsey to make it 24-21, Fry came back blocked a Higginsville player at the net on the final point for the victory.
Stone said the girls have to continue to work on their defensive game. “We have to commit to being stronger in our ball control and defense,” Stone said. “Confidence is following our first instincts and stronger communication. Higginsville was scrappy and made us work for every point.”
Senior Kristin Hoff led the Lady Pirates with 26 digs along with 13 assists, eight kills on 15 of 18 hitting, five service points and three blocks.
Anna Davis finished the match with 23 digs, eight kills on 18 of 22 hitting, five service points, one block and one assist, while Emma Goff added 11 digs, 11 assists and eight service points, Taylor Fry with nine digs, eight kills, five blocks and five service points with one ace, Makenzie Ficken with 11 assists,  10 service points with one ace and four digs, Anna Terlep with 13 digs, five service points with one ace, five kills on 12 of 15 hitting and one block, Raven Stone with nine kills on 14 of 14 hitting, four digs, three blocks and two assists, Daryl Fagan with 13 digs, Jessica Luscombe with five blocks, five kills on 9 of 10 hitting and two digs and Sydnee Poindexter with five digs.
Boonville also won the JV match in three games 28-26, 23-25 and 25-13.
Boonville JV coach Jesse Oswald said his team had another tough battle and were fortunate that they were able to win in three sets. “We started off slow but was able to turn it around and force a third set which we dominated from start to finish,” Oswald said. “We played with a lot of different lineups and some girls were throw around in different spots that they weren’t used to, but we made it work and was able to come away with a victory. I thought that we took a couple steps forward and made ourselves a better team. Everybody contributed and it was a good win for our program.”
Kelsi Dillender led the JV team with 14 service points with three aces along with nine kills and eight digs. Emilyn O’Laughlin had seven service points, four kills and three blocks while Holly Brady added nine service points with four aces, Sophie Taube with 11 digs and Sydnee Poindexter with four kills.