The Southwest Volleyball team defeated Gentry (Ark.) and Thomas Jefferson before losing a close match to Exeter last week.
The Lady Trojans are 1-1 in the Ozark 7 Conference and 2-1 overall heading into a non-conference game with Marionville this week.
"We started a little slow in Gentry," said ninth-year Southwest Coach Steve Voyak. "We had a bad first set, but after that, we have picked it up and played aggressively. We didn't like the outcome against Exeter, but I saw some tears and anger after that game. I like the players' passion and attitude already."
In the two-set loss to Exeter, the Lady Trojans took the lead 20-19 on an attack by sophomore setter Montana Hendrix, but the Tigers rallied to score six of the next nine points to win game one. Exeter built a 14-6 lead in the second set, but the Lady Trojans fought back behind middles Taylor Mettlach (seven attacks and five blocks) and Shannon Mitchell (nine attacks and four blocks). Southwest rallied to tie the score at 25-25, but the Tigers were able to score the final two points for the win.
"Exeter is a good team with nine seniors," Voyak said. "They have quality hitters and serve the ball well, while playing solid defense. The difference in the match was five points. They made plays when they needed to and we didn't. Experienced teams do that."
In the wins over Gentry and Thomas Jefferson, Southwest was fairly dominant other than the opening set. Hendrix, who serves at a 95.7 clip, made 13 straight points to win the third set at Gentry, while junior outside hitter Megan Light added five attacks in the victory over TJ.
Junior setter Jerri Lynn Henry leads the team in assists with 48 and has served at 90 percent. The team is serving at 92.3 percent and has 40 aces through three games.
"I really like what I've seen," Voyak said. "Serving, blocking and hustle seem to be our strengths right now. We really need to work on serve-receive, overall communication and setting and hitting consistency. Too many times, we get a good set and we don't get a kill, and then there are times we get a good pass and we don't get a good set. If we fix that, we will be even better."
In JV action, Southwest won both its games against Gentry and Exeter. Middles Samantha Barberio and Sequoia Beck combined for 15 attacks in the victories.