Finish the season at 13-12-2 overall
With each team winning at home this season in the NCMC, the Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team and the Kirksville Tigers squared off in what is called the rubber match Wednesday night in the Class 3 District 8 Tournament at Marshall.
Except this match had a little more at stake with the winner to move on to the championship match to face top-seeded California.
While the Lady Pirates looked every bit as sharp after the first set by beating Kirksville 25-16, the next two sets left the Boonville crowd scratching their head as the Lady Tigers rallied back to beat Boonville 25-17 and 25-20 for the victory.
Boonville finished the season at 13-12-2 overall.
“We came out strong the first set of last nights game,” said Boonville volleyball coach Morgan Sprigg. “Our momentum was up and we were playing together as a team. I thought in my head we had that game the way we were playing our first set. Kirksville came out ready to play the second set and we got ourselves in a hole and couldn't get out. Again I thought our defense played great last night. They were getting to most of the balls and hustled after everything. We struggled with our offense again as well.”
The Lady Pirates never trailed in the first set while bolting out to a 3-0 lead on a kill by senior Brynn Edwards, a Kirksville error and a ace by junior Lawren Luscombe.
Meanwhile, after Kirksville cut the lead to 5-4 on a communication error on the floor, the Lady Pirates came back and extended the lead to 11 on five straight points to make it 22-11. Kirksville never got any closer than for the rest of the set as Boonville closed out the first game on a Kirksville hitting error.
The second set, however, was just the opposite as Kirksville jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to have Boonville rally back to go up 5-4 on the hit by senior Kelsey Bishop. Boonville and Kirksville then played to three ties at 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 before the Lady Tigers went on a 7-2 run to go up 14-9.
The Lady Pirates never got any closer than four for the rest of the set as Kirksville scored the final two points to tie the match on Boonville hitting errors.
Boonville also came out slow in the final set with Kirksville scoring the first four points. But even that was short-lived as the Lady Pirates rallied back to tie the set at 5-5, 7-7 and 8-8. However it was pretty much all Kirksville after that while reeling off seven straight to go up 17-10.
Boonville cut the lead to three late in the match on a hit by senior Dana Lester to make it 22-19. However two unforced errors pushed the lead back to five at 24-19. Then, after Lester scored again on a hit off the block to cut the lead to four at 24-20, Kirksville came back and scored the final point on another unforced error for the victory.
Sprigg said the last two games the girls were not able to hit the ball like they normally do.
“Shayann Potter worked very hard to get to the ball to run an offense,” Sprigg said. “You could tell in her eyes that she didn’t want to lose and she gave it all she had. There were other girls on the floor as well that gave it all they had and I feel for them, especially the seniors. I do feel that Kirksville played a great game, but I think we definitely could have played better against them. I have seen the girls play better than they did last night, especially the second set. I thought Brynn Edwards and Shayann Potter were true captain's last night on the floor. They tried to keep the girls up and fight until the end. I am proud of the girls and their accomplishments. They kept it together throughout the season and formed a great team. We had our ups and downs, but it didn’t stop them from playing together as a team. I am thankful to have a great group of girls like them and the seniors will be missed.”
Potter finished the match with a team-leading 21 assists along with nine service points with one ace, six digs and two kills on 11 attack attempts.
Edwards had a team-leading 19 digs along with nine kills on 32 attack attempts and eight service points with one ace. MJ Goff added 15 digs, one service point and one attack while Lester had five kills on 23 attack attempts, three digs and three service points with one ace, Lawren Luscombe with four service points with two aces, three digs, two kills on 15 attack attempts and one block, Jodie Bass with nine digs, three attack attempts and two assists, Brianna Walker with 10 digs, Hana Cook with three blocks, three kills on 18 attack attempts, two digs and two service points and Kelsey Bishop with seven kills on 20 attack attempts, one block and one dig.