Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball coach Hannah Meyer-Ashley saw a great improvement from start to finish Tuesday night against Marshall in the opening round of the Class 3 District 9 Tournament in Centralia.
While the Lady Pirates fell in two straight sets against Marshall 20-25 and 16-25, Ashley said it was a good match.
Boonville finished the season at 2-23-1.
“I thought our serve-receive was really, really good,” Ashley said. “We had Kennedy Renfrow, Carson Dee and Lily Terrell in the back row and they really proved themselves as back row passers. Another thing is that we had Nora Morris, Lily and Madison Smith in the front row and they were getting touches on balls. I knew it would be a good match because we played them really good at home this season. It’s just sad it ended like that.”
In other matches Tuesday night in the tournament, No. 2 Mexico defeated Centralia 25-22 and 25-20 while No. 4 Chillicothe upended Fulton in three sets 15-25, 25-21 and 25-21.
Top-seeded Kirksville was scheduled to play Chillicothe in the first semifinal on Wednesday, followed by Marshall and Mexico in the second game and then the championship match.
In the first set against Marshall, which featured six ties, the Lady Pirates led by as much as five at 15-10 after a service point by sophomore Nora Morris. However it went downhill quickly after that as the Lady Owls scrambled back to tie the set at 16-all. Boonville was also its worst enemy at times in the first set while cutting the lead to one at 21-20 and then committing a bad serve. The Lady Pirates followed that up with two errors to make it 24-20. Then, on the final point, Marshall came back with a kill to win the first set 25-20.
Coach Ashley said sometimes the girls are their own worst enemy. “Honestly, even that scoreboard is the worst enemy,” Ashley said. “Some of our best games have been played in tournaments, where we can’t see the scoreboard just because we don’t have that little number in our head.”
The Lady Pirates also led early on in the second set against Marshall after a service point by Carson Dee and a kill by Lily Terrell to make it 9-5. Meanwhile, after tying the match at 12-all, the Lady Owls reeled off eight straight on the hitting of junior Emma Schulte and errors by Boonville to go up 20-12.
The Lady Pirates never got any closer than seven points for the rest of the match while Marshall led by as much as nine on two different occasions.
Nora Morris led Boonville with 15 attack attempts along with seven digs, two kills, two blocks and two assists.
Kennedy Renfrow finished the match with 10 digs, nine blocks, five attack attempts and one kill while Lily Terrell had 15 attack attempts, four digs, three kills and one block, Abby Reisinger 10 assists and nine digs, Madison Smith with 11 attack attempts, three blocks and two kills, Carson Dee with seven attack attempts, four digs and two kills and Lillian Rohrbach with three attack attempts, two kills and one dig.
Despite the loss, Ashley said the girls improved 110 percent.
“I’ve talked to a lot of coaches and athletic directors and they said they saw a big difference from the beginning of the year to now,” Ashley said. “I think the girls have gotten use to the new transition on defense, and they have really decided to pick up the pace in our setting all the way around. Abby Reisinger did an awesome job tonight, too, with her setting all around. She was setting back row and front row and with quicks, and everything she needed to be doing as a setter.”