Prep Net Round-up: Lady Owls spike district foe

Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Senior Melissa Cook (23) had three kills, and an impressive 32 digs, during Marshall's two-game win against district foe Grain Valley.

GRAIN VALLEY -- Even in the wake of her team's NCMC romp over Fulton last Thursday, Marshall head volleyball coach Becky Harrold reflected on the need of her players to "get past that mental part" against opponents from their district.

The Lady Owls had their chance Tuesday at Grain Valley, which had eliminated them in two hard-fought sets of the Class 3, District 13 Tournament a year ago, and cashed in with a 25-20, 25-19 victory.

"This was a nice win against a district opponent who has stolen our season from us ... the last two years," Harrold remarked.

Not that it was easy, Marshall falling behind 19-11 in the first game due to attack errors before winning six of the last seven points.

"Our hits were going all over the place," Harrold said. "We never were playing badly, but we were a little off."

Junior Abby Perkins' rotation to the front row, set by junior Nikki Cooley and sophomore Megan Austin, did the trick for the Lady Owls. Also keeping Marshall in the game was senior Melissa Cook, who came up with a whopping 32 digs during the match.

"She is still trying to get her offensive legs, but -- by far -- 'Cookie' is such a leader in that middle back spot," Harrold declared. Cook "really shined on defense, nabbing some digs that really kept us going."

The Lady Owls were never in serious trouble during the second set, although the Lady Eagles (1-2) kept it tight most of the way. Junior Ashley McCracken, who had three kills and a block, played a pivotal role and Perkins and freshman Sierra Cuda -- combining for 10 spikes during the contest -- paced the offense.

"The girls put the ball away and played well," Harrold said. "We never felt like it was a close game."

Sophomore Rachel Keller had four kills and 11 digs and Cooley contributed two kills, five saves, three aces and eight assists to Marshall's victory.

The Lady Owls (3-1) are off until Monday, when they return home to face Knob Noster.

Sweet Springs 2,

LaMonte 0

SWEET SPRINGS -- Sophomore Jennifer Vogelsmeier's five kills, eight digs and three aces led Sweet Springs to a 25-17, 20-25, 25-21 non-conference decision Tuesday over visiting LaMonte.

The Lady Greyhounds did a solid job at the net by putting down 11 shots and blocking eight. Head coach Kristen Armilio noted the fine play of both Vogelsmeier and sophomore Jenna Perkins -- with two spikes and eight saves -- although felt "our serving needs some work" even though Sweet Springs "squeezed in a few aces" against the Lady Vikings (0-2).

Senior Leslie Keesaer added seven digs, senior Valerie Wulff came up with five saves and sophomore Kara Kreisel provided six assists for the Lady 'Hounds (1-1).

Sweet Springs will face a more formidable Kaysinger Conference foe Thursday when it plays at Sacred Heart.

Crest Ridge 2, Santa Fe 0

CENTERVIEW -- Crest Ridge continued its regular season string of four straight victories over Santa Fe with a 25-22, 25-20 sweep Tuesday during the I-70 Conference opener at Centerview.

Junior Janae Bennett pounded out 14 kills, to go along with nine digs and four blocks, to pace the Lady Cougars (3-0, 1-0 I-70). Senior Mindy Oxley and sophomore Ashton Simon combined for 22 assists.

No information was submitted by Santa Fe by press time. The Lady Chiefs (0-2, 0-1) go to Concordia Monday for a triangular with the Lady Orioles and Green Ridge.

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