Lady Pirates win in four sets in home opener against Centralia

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville junior Madison Smith goes up for a block in the second set against Centralia Tuesday night in the Lady Pirates home opener  at the Windsor gymnasium. The Lady Pirates defeated Centralia in four sets to improve to 2-1 on the season.

The Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team left it all on the floor Tuesday night in the home opener against the Centralia Panthers.

After starting out the season with one win and one loss in conference play, the Lady Pirates couldn’t have played any better while winning the first-two sets of the match against Centralia. However, after losing their focus in set three, Boonville responded with high energy again in the final set to beat the Panthers in four 25-14, 25-19, 25-27 and 25-14.

The win improved Boonville’s record to 2-1 overall.

Boonville volleyball coach Dina Herzog said it was a win as the team struggles to find its identity. “We don’t have to play perfect, however, we do need to know to bounce back and change things up if we make mistakes,” Herzog said. “We need to identify our weaknesses, identify what works and spend time there. We missed too many serves. We, at times, looked for someone else to do our jobs. We needed to dominate throughout the sets but we have our ups and downs. Nora (Morris) hit the ball line and boosted our confidence when we needed it. Madison (Smith) and Kylee (Turner) were unstoppable when they connected. Addy Nichols also served very well.”

Although the Lady Pirates wound up winning by 11 in the first set, the game was a lot closer than the final score as Centralia rallied from a 4-0 deficit to cut it to one at 8-7. The Lady Panthers never got any closer in the set as Boonville came back with five straight points on kills by Nichols and Addi Brownfield and two service aces by Smith to extend the lead back to six at 13-7. The Lady Pirates also led by as much as 12 in the first set after a kill by Morris to make it 24-12.

Of course, the second set was just the opposite as Boonville got off to a slow start and trailed at one point 6-3 after a kill by Centralia’s Baylee Beard. However, after tying the set at 6-all, Boonville and Centralia would battle back and forth with five more ties to knot the game at 16-all. However, after three straight kills by Nichols, Smith and Brownfield to make it 19-16, Boonville would outscore Centralia 6-3 the rest of the way to go up 2-0 in the match.

In the third set, Boonville led at one point by a score of 12-4 after a block point by Brownfield. However, after going up 22-16, the Lady Pirates struggled to find any rhythm as Centralia rallied back with eight straight points to go up 24-22. Meanwhile, after playing to two ties at 24-24 and 25-all, Boonville failed to come up with the final two points to secure the match in three. Centralia later came back and scored on back to back errors for a 27-25 victory.

In the fourth and final set, Boonville never trailed and led at one point by a score of 5-1 before a rally by Centralia to tie the set on two occasions at 5-5 and 6-all. However it was pretty much all Boonville after that while going up 15-10 on back to back kills by Morris. Centralia never got any closer than four for the rest of the set while Boonville led by as much as 11 on three occasions to close out the match.

Nichols led the Lady Pirates with 16 service points, while Smith had four aces on the night along with 16 kills on 29 attack attempts and three blocks. Morris led the team with 12 digs, while Turner had 41 assists in four sets.

Nichols also had nine digs along with three kills on six attack attempts, two aces, one block and one assist, while Smith added nine service points and five digs, Morris with 11 kills on 26 attack attempts and four service points with two aces, Turner with 13 service points with three aces, three attack attempts, one block and one dig, Addi Brownfield with 14 kills on 38 attack attempts, eight digs and six service points, Genae Hodge with nine service points with one ace, four digs, three kills on 11 attack attempts and two blocks, and Claire Witting with one dig.

In the JV match, Centralia defeated Boonville in two straight sets 25-23 and 25-19.

Boonville JV coach Joedi Herzog said the girls fell short but played well. “We unfortunately had five girls from JV and asked the freshmen to step up,” Herzog said. “They did really well and I couldn’t have asked anymore from them. We made some silly errors as a team that we will go over in practice before taking on our next opponent. Elly Rapp, Claire Witting and Kailee Austin led the team with three digs each. The girls did a great job reading the court. Reagan Wilson led the team with five assists, followed by Claire Witting with two. These girls were thrown into this position this year and I’m very proud how they’ve stepped up.”

Reagan Wilson and Mariah Payne were two of the top players for the JV team. While Wilson had five assists, three digs and one kill, Payne finished with six service points with one ace and two digs. Elly Rapp had three digs, two kills and two service points with one ace, while Kailee Austin added four service points with one ace and three digs, Claire Witting with two assists, two digs, two kills and one block, Kinley Fox three service points and two kills, Zoe Davis two blocks, one kill and one dig, Shaniah Payne one service point, and Riley Wilson with one kill.