The Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team knew Saturday’s sectional match against Carl Junction would have to be its best match of the season to move on to the quarterfinal round of the state tournament.
While qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time since 2008 by beating Southern Boone in three sets last week in the championship in the district tournament, the Lady Pirates knew playing at the next level would be a whole new experience.
Unfortunately for the Lady Pirates, they faced perhaps the one team to win it all in the sectional round and as a result fell in two straight 25-10 and 25-7.
Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball coach Susie Stone said Carl Junction was athletic, tall across the front line and had strong ball control.
“They were able to attack over the top of some of blocks and at times they were able to press the ball through our blocks,” Stone said. “We are a team that averages four blocks per set and today we had one block the entire match.  That was a block set by Taylor Fry and Kristen Hoff. We had several blockers that got their hands on balls to slow down attacks in certain rotations but our blocks were not efficient enough to contain Carl Junction in all rotations.  
“They have a junior outside hitter, who has already verbally committed to Missouri State and she got on a roll in the second set against us by scoring eight of her teams kills when they went on a 12 point scoring run. We struggled with passing in serve-receive consistently and as a result we struggled with getting the ball to the middle of the net offensively.  Despite the lopsided score we did have several strong rallies, we just did not win those battles for points. They did have to earn those points in the first set.”
As for the first set, Stone said the girls started with serve and was able to rally a couple of times before Carl Junction made a statement by scoring off  of a quick set to the middle to gain the first point.  She said Carl junction scored two more points before they committed a serving error.
“Getting the ball back at 3-1 we were able to battle with some long rallies but we were never able to win any of those rallies consistently to gain any type of momentum,” Stone said. “We had multiple blocked hitting attempts but the girls did a great job of covering our hitters and trying to convert offense out of hitter coverage.  We were forced to tip and roll shot way too much due to the large bocks of Carl Junction.  
“Defensively, Carl Junction was sound on all levels they only allowed us two kills in the first set one by Raven Stone from the right side and Kristen Hoff from the outside.  We earned points on their serving errors and they had a couple of blocking errors.”
As for the second set, Stone said the girls earned two points hitting from Taylor Fry out of the middle and Raven Stone on the right side. Anna Davis also earned a service ace, she said.
“The second match, Carl Junction at point 12-point went on a 12 point run which we could not break,” Stone said. “We were stuck in the same rotation. We could never get a strong enough offensive attack to gain the ball back and Carl Junction was on fire offensively and were able to attack at will.  Their lineup was aggressive and large up and down. They had a 6-1 outside junior hitter and she he had her way with us during this rotation. She laid the ball down multiple times and then when we changed our blocking and defense scheme, she just changed her attack and nailed us at angles.  We could not contain her hitting.  We never gave up and  fought until the end.”
Stone said Davis was put in a huge pressure sitatuion and stepped to the serving line. With the Lady Pirates trailing 24-5, Stone said Davis served up a service ace to make it 24-6.
“We were able to gain another point off of a blocking error they made when Jessica Luscombe was attacking at the net,” Stone said. “ We never let down.  Finally at point 25 for Carl Junction once again they went to their outside hitter, who buried the ball just beyond the 10 foot line for game point.
“I am extremely proud of the way this group of girls fought together and have grown together over the past years.  They never gave up. We represented the town of Boonville with character and honor.  This group of girls have received compliments on their behavior and attitude the entire weekend from opposing school officials and that is a huge statement and testament to their character.”
In the match against Carl Junction, senior Kristin Hoff finished the match with five digs, one block and one kill on 9 of 10 hitting.
Emma Goff had three assists and three digs while Kylie Hohensee added six digs and 3 of 3 hitting, Anna Davis with three digs, one ace and 6 of 9 hitting, Raven Stone with two kills on 4 of 5 hitting and one dig, Taylor Fry with one block and one kill on 4 of 5 hitting, Anna Terlep with two digs and 7 of 8 hitting, Makenzie Ficken one dig and one assist and Sophie Taube and Daryl Fagan each with one dig.
Carl Junction went on to capture the championship in the tournament by beating Logan-Rogersville 25-19 and 25-14.