MHS Roundup: Boonville survives against Lady Owls
Even defending Class 3, District 13 Tournament champion Boonville isn't able to dispose of the Marshall volleyball team without a fight.
The Lady Owls dropped to 2-3 against district foes, but Thursday's 27-25, 25-14 loss to the Lady Pirates (14-1) was typical of those setbacks. The first game indicated, as MHS head coach Becky Harrold asserted, that the Birds "were ready to play."
"We knew what Boonville's middles could do and had practiced specifically for them," Harrold said. "We wanted to move the ball around to make the blockers have to chase us and to not give too many easy balls, since they can slam the ball."
For the most part, that's what Marshall did -- finishing with a season-high 12 blocks for the match, including six by junior Abby Perkins. The Lady Owls, behind the hitting of senior Melissa Cook and sophomore Rachel Keller -- who combined for five kills -- twice had game point, but were unable to convert.
After a disappointing loss in the first set, Marshall struggled in the second.
"As it goes with the mental game of volleyball, the loss of such a hard-fought first game really knocked the win out of us," Harrold admitted.
Even at that, Harrold was pleased to see young players keep their poise. Sophomore Megan Austin had five assists and freshmen Sierra Cuda and Cortni Ervin each produced two spikes and a pair of blocks. Cook finished with 20 digs, Keller had 15 saves, junior Nikki Cooley led with eight assists and Perkins was 10 for 10 in attacks with three dropping.
"Abby placed the ball really well on her hits," Harrold said, "but we need to use her more and more efficiently."
The Lady Owls (6-3) didn't get the win, but they continue to earn respect from those who will be part of the district seeding process -- and some confidence for potential rematches.
"They came up short, but they came away realizing they can play with the good teams ... and a bitter taste in their mouth for coming up short for the second match in a row," Harrold remarked, noting Tuesday's 26-24, 26-24 loss at Oak Grove. "The girls fought a hard battle."
Marshall 9, Mexico 0
Senior Ryan Guthrie's five goals led the Marshall boys' soccer team to its third straight NCMC victory Thursday, whipping visiting Mexico, 9-0.
The Owls were a little slow getting cranked up each half, taking 17 minutes into the match to tally first. Once they got going, though, it was a deluge -- Guthrie connecting twice and junior Mario Leon making it 3-0 by halftime.
It took Guthrie until the 21st minute of the second half to find the mark, but later he scored twice within a minute. Freshman Kevin Zinn, junior Miriel Reyes and junior Justin Lopez also put in shots for Marshall.
Senior Cristian Barcenas stopped the only shot offered by the Bulldogs (1-10, 0-4 NCMC), then came out of the net to assist on Guthrie's fourth goal. Reyes and Leon also had assists -- as did seniors Kevin Williamsen and Drew Dusenberry, juniors Richard Urtz and Myles Yokeley and freshman Matt Pace.
The Owls (6-6, 3-2) have climbed back into the conference race, but will have a stiff challenge Tuesday when they go outside the league to entertain Warrensburg.
Marshall 9, Warrensburg 0
WARRENSBURG -- The Marshall girls' tennis team handed a good Warrensburg club its second loss of the season Thursday, 9-0.
It was the ninth shutout victory of the season for the visiting Lady Owls, who had dropped two contests on back-to-back days earlier in the week. Other than wins by senior Nicki Erickson (10-2) at No. 1 and sophomore Sydne Parkhurst (10-1) at No. 5, the singles tilts were tight.
Freshmen Kelsey Franklin (10-6) and Amy Durham (10-5) pulled away at the end, as did junior Duyen Van (10-5), and senior Ann Lewis (10-7) hung on against sophomore Temerity Matthews at No. 4.
Freshmen Ali Brandt and Courtney Henley whitewashed the Lady Tigers (8-2), 10-0, and junior Rebecca Morton and senior Chelsea Koehn -- playing with a new partner due to a foot bruise suffered Tuesday by senior Lauren Sandwith -- won by an 8-3 margin. Sophomore Linzi Bledsoe and senior Robyn Jennings had a tough time disposing of sophomores Julie Nelson and Jessica Moore at No. 3 doubles, 10-8.
Marshall's junior varsity cruised to an 8-2 decision, claiming the top six singles matches -- sophomore Bre Clemens getting an 8-0 win and senior Natalie Kempf and freshman Jenny Gilpin notching 8-1 victories.
The Lady Owls (13-2) are scheduled to host Boonville Monday.
Sacred Heart wins
Class 1 power Sacred Heart of Sedalia blew away the field Thursday to win a triangular match at Marshall.
Led by senior Holly Sunnarborg's two-over-par 38, the Lady Gremlins (6-0) shot a 174 to easily out-distance Warrensburg (205 points) and the host Lady Owls (232). Senior Paige Downum shot 43 and senior Jennifer Messick 45 as all five starters for Sacred Heart (6-0) went lower than any of their opponents.
Sophomore Sarah Seward had a 49 for the Lady Tigers (2-11).
Marshall was topped by senior Megan Kays' 54, with juniors Samantha Cartee and Jillian Collins coming in with 57s and junior Autumn Zinn posting a 64.
The Lady Owls (1-6) will see Sacred Heart again Monday during a dual at Sedalia Country Club.