SW team seeded third in districts
Southwest will be the #3 seed in the Class 2, District 11 Volleyball Tournament to be held Oct. 24 and 25 at Diamond High School.
Pierce City, the #7 team in the state in Class 2A, is the #1 seed, while Diamond, ranked 10th in the state, is the #2 seed. Both schools received first-round byes.
In the district quarterfinals, College Heights (seed #4) plays Purdy (#5) at 6 p.m., while Southwest (#3) battles Sarcoxie (#6) at 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 24. The winners advance to the semifinals on Oct. 25. The College Heights-Purdy winner plays Pierce City at 6 p.m., while the Southwest-Sarcoxie survivor faces Diamond at 7:15 p.m.
"It's a pretty balanced district," said Southwest coach Steve Voyak. "Clearly, Pierce and Diamond are the favorites, but the lower seeds are better than in recent years. An upset in the semifinals or championship is not that farfetched."
In last week's action, Southwest beat Purdy but fell to Farmington (Ark.) and College Heights. Farmington won in four sets, despite 19 blocks by freshman middle Shannon Mitchell.
The Lady Trojans downed Purdy 25-19, 25-19 in a Pink Out game, and College Heights rallied after losing the first set for a three-set victory over the Lady Trojans.
Against Farmington, Southwest struggled in the final two sets.
"We played so well for two sets and then didn't communicate the final two sets," Voyak said. "There's no excuse for that this late in the season. We've addressed it in practice and saw improvement in the other two games."
Against Purdy, the Lady Trojans rallied after trailing 12-4 in the first set. The Lady Eagles grabbed the early momentum but couldn't sustain it as Southwest outscored them 46-26 the rest of the way.
Mitchell and junior outside hitter Megan Light combined to convert 20 of 21 serves and two aces to lead Southwest, which finished with a 5-1 Ozark 7 Conference record. Mitchell added 13 more blocks and four attacks for Southwest.
"Both Shannon and Megan have struggled with their serve at times during the season, but they stepped up and are determined to keep improving," Voyak said. "Megan is now up over 90 percent for the season and Shannon has hit 16 in a row recently."
Against College Heights, junior middle Taylor Mettlach made all 18 of her serves, including four aces, and junior setter Jerri Lynn Henry handed out eight assists to lead the Lady Trojans. Junior Chelsie Leroy made all 31 of her serves in the three games last week and extended her consecutive serve streak to 94. Leroy's serve percentage for the season is at 96.6. Last season, Mettlach set the school record with 125 in a row.
Southwest finishes the regular season this week with non-conference games at Exeter and Sarcoxie.