Southwest spikes Cassville, 2-0

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

By Lee Stubblefield

The Southwest Lady Trojans volleyball team remained unbeaten on Monday, Sept. 16, downing Cassville in straight sets in front of a raucous home crowd at the Washburn gym. The Lady Wildcats played tough, but fell in both sets by identical 25-20 scores.

The Lady Trojans (4-0) blitzed the black-and-gold clad visitors from the outset, claiming a 7-0 lead in the first set on the strength of Montana Hendrix's strong service. Hendrix baffled Cassville (2-1) with her off-speed serve, attacking the baseline and then dropping a weak knuckleball over the net for an unchallenged ace.

"We have six new players in our line up this year," said Southwest coach Steve Voyak. "I am pleased with how well we meshed and played on the court."

Cassville stormed back with Lindsey Nolan serving, and trimmed the lead to 7-4. But that early service run by Hendrix proved to be the difference in the first set, as the Lady Wildcats could never pull closer than 2 points. A Britani Long ace cut the Southwest lead to 14-12, and then a Southwest error allowed a 16-14 score.

But Steve Voyak's girls pulled away to lead by 6 late, and held on for the 25-20 win.

The second set looked like a fishing expedition for the Lady Wildcats, as they were called five times for being in the net. Southwest's powerful front line duo of Hendrix and Shannon Mitchell forced Cassville to be aggressive and caused the outbreak of net infractions.

Cassville jumped out to an early 10-6 lead in the second set, and had the look of a team poised to force a third set. But Cassville errors and a timely service run by Southwest's Jaime Shrum led to an 11-11 tie.

Jade Null ripped a winner through the weak side seam to give the Lady Wildcats a 12-11 advantage. It would be the last lead of the match for Cassville.

Southwest squeezed to a 15-13 lead, and then a Shannon Mitchell ace gave the Lady Trojans the space they needed on the scoreboard. Cassville would pull within 2 points twice down the stretch, at 16-14 and then 22-20. But Shannon Mitchell ended Long's serve with a wicked overhead smash. Then Shrum finished off the Lady Wildcats with an ace for the final point.

"Southwest is a very scrappy team and came out ready to play," said Cassville coach Jennifer Nichols. "We dug a hole at the beginning and had a hard time recovering, but I was proud of the girls because they played hard until the end."

Cassville was led by Kelsey Roney with five kills and one ace. Sydney Curnes added 11 digs and one ace. Lindsey Nolan contributed 12 assists and Jade Null finished with five kills.

Southwest travels to Diamond for a non-conference contest on Thursday, Sept. 19. Cassville is also in action on Thursday, playing a Big 8 match at East Newton, both matches are set to begin at 5 p.m.

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